Authorities implemented “pre-emptive” evacuations and suspended classes in several areas of Caraga as heavy rains brought by a low-pressure area (LPA) caused floods and landslides, a civil defense official said.

Evacuations started around 6 a.m. Thursday, particularly in Brgys. Limon, Pigdaulan, Mahay, Banza, Golden Ribbon, and Obrero of Butuan City, Blanche Gobenciong, director of the Office of Civil Defense-Caraga, said.

Rains had been pouring “non-stop” from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday noon, causing the Agusan River to overflow at 2.5 meters above sea level and dump water at its basin in Butuan, Gobenciong said.

“Ang tinatawag na critical is from 2.6 to 2.7 meters. Beyond that, forced evacuation na ang gagawin,” Gobenciong noted.

Waters from the Agusan River also crept to Brgys. Doña Flavia, Doña Maxima, and Poblacion in San Luis, Agusan del Sur.

Floods were also monitored in Brgy. Poblacion of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur, where the Tago River usually dumps excess water.

Parts of the National Highway and several barangay roads in those areas were already “impassable” to vehicles as of Thursday noon, Gobenciong said.

Heavy rains also caused a landslide along the National Highway in Brgy. Nurcia, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, but no one was reported injured, she said.

Classes in different levels have already been suspended in Butuan City, Surigao City, the whole province ng Dinagat Islands, Las Nieves and Magallanes of Agusan del Norte, and Tandag City of Surigao del Sur, Gobenciong said. (John Roson)

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