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Signal No. 1 still up, sea travel halted, pre-emptive evacuation in Sagay

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 remained over Negros as tropical storm “Auring” maintained its strength and continued to move towards the Eastern Visayas–Caraga area at 8 tonight, February 21, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Under Signal No.1 were Negros Oriental, and northern and central Negros Occidental (Kabankalan City, Himamaylan City, Binalbagan, Isabela, Moises Padilla, Hinigaran, La Castellana, Pontevedra, San Enrique, La Carlota City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, Bago City, Murcia, Bacolod City, Talisay City, Silay City, Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, Toboso, Calatrava, San Carlos City, Salvador Benedicto), PAGASA said.

Capt. Ludovico Librilla, Philippine Coast Guard Negros Occidental chief, cancelled all sea travel out of Negros Occidental starting 5 p.m. Saturday. The suspension of sea travel will only be lifted when PAGASA lifts its Signal No. 1 over Negros, Librilla said today.

Fifteen roll-on-roll-off vessels were stranded in Negros Occidental ports, he said.

There was light, and moderate to heavy rains over Negros Occidental for most of today, but no flooding was reported in most areas, Zeaphard Caelian, Provincial Disaster Management Program Division head, said.

However, last night Sagay City conducted pre-emptive evacuation of 639 residents of Himoga-an Baybay, Old Sagay, and Tabao, Caelian said.

The close watch for possible flooding in Negros Occidental towns and cities tonight and tomorrow is still on, he said.

PAGASA said there will be light to moderate to at times heavy rains over the Visayas until tomorrow night.

At 7 tonight, the center of Tropical Storm “Auring” was estimated based on all available data at 275 km East of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte (09.8 °N, 128.0 °E ), PAGASA said.

It was moving northwestward at 25 km/h with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h, it added.

Under these conditions, isolated to scattered flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides are likely during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps, PAGASA said.*

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