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‘Pepito’ displaces thousands of families

A TOTAL of 4,790 families were affected on the onslaught of tropical storm Pepito in the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon (CALABARZON) area.

This was revealed by Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Deputy administrator for operations Assistant Secretary Casiano Monilla.

Monilla said most of the affected families were from Quezon province.

Reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed that a total of 184 families were affected from Region 2; 4,790 families were from Region 4A or Calabarzon area; 171 families were affected from Cagayan; 168 from Isabela and 3 families from Quirino.

Monilla said no casualty was reported in these areas. He added that residents have been cooperative with local agencies assisting them in this time of calamity.

I also would like to commend ‘yung ating mga kababayan na sila ay very cooperative na rin pagka-sinabi na mag eevacuate tayo, especially kung threatened po ‘yung kanilang area,” Monilla said.

An update issued by PAGASA at around 11 a.m. Wednesday showed that Pepito slightly intensified while moving westward over the West Philippine Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 was raised in Bolinao, Anda, Bani, Agno, Alaminos City, Mabini, Burgos, Dasol, Sual, Labrador, Infanta — all in Pangasinan.

Pepito is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday

As of press time, the local government of Lopez town in storm-hit Quezon may need additional food packs and hygiene kits to augments its relief operations for families affected by Pepito.

According to Melchor Avenilla Jr., of the Quezon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the local government has started relief distribution but called on the public for additional donations.

Lopez and Calauag towns in Quezon experienced flooding due to Pepito.

On Maharlika Highway in Bgy. Canda Ibaba, Lopez, floodwaters reached more than five feet, making the bridge impassable to all kinds of vehicles.

Several motorists headed to Region 5, Visayas and Mindanao were stranded, while some had to cross the bridge using boats.

The delivery of goods were also affected due to the flood.

For stranded travellers, a medical team has been deployed to attend to address their health concerns.

Avenilla said the local government is continuously monitoring the situation of the stranded motorists and the families in evacuation centers.

More than 1,000 families were brought to evacuation centers due to Pepito.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Zaida I. Delos Reyes
Native of Pampanga, resident of SJDM, Bulacan