By Alexander Lopez

RELIEF OPS. Personnel of the local government of Veruela town in Agusan del Sur carryout relief operations for families affected by floodwaters in 12 barangays on Thursday (Jan. 18, 2024). The municipal social welfare office reported that the flooding caused by the shear line has so far displaced 3,284 families. (Photo courtesy of Veruela MPS)

BUTUAN CITY – At least 3,284 families or 12,980 individuals from 12 barangays in the Agusan del Sur town of Veruela have been displaced due to severe flooding.

“Most of the evacuees are now in evacuation centers, except in some areas where residents are trapped in their houses due to the rising floodwaters,” Masminda Canonoy, municipal social welfare and development officer, said in an interview on Thursday.

Agusan del Sur and other provinces in the Caraga region have been experiencing heavy rains due to the shear line since Monday.

Relief distribution is ongoing in the municipality with the support of the local police and troops of the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion.

Canonoy said 628 and 200 families in Barangays Gabriel and Binongan, respectively, were unable to leave their houses as the floods began to engulf their areas on Tuesday.

“Our responders are utilizing motorboats to reach these affected families and bring them food and other needs,” she said.

Meanwhile, Veruela Mayor Myrna Mondejar extended the suspension of classes and work in Barangays San Gabriel, Binongan, and Poblacion due to high water levels.

Mondejar urged village officials to monitor the situation in their respective localities and exercise discretionary powers in recommending the extension of the suspension of work and classes if necessary.

Other local government units in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur also suspended work and classes in their localities on Thursday due to heavy rains. (PNA)