Thousands in Mindanao's Caraga Region fled to higher ground on Saturday due to floodwaters spawned by Tropical Depression Vicky one week before the Christmas holidays, pushing #MindanaoNeedsHelp to trend on Facebook and Twitter.
Photos on official local government pages showed swollen rivers and ankle-deep to waist-deep floods. The rains also triggered landslides in hillside communities. Floods were reported in the Surigao and Agusan provinces. Davao City also raised a flood warning.
While Vicky, the 21st storm to enter the country this year, intensified into a tropical depression only last Friday, it had brought rains to the region days prior as a low pressure area.
As of 8 a.m. Saturday, #MindanaoNeedsHelp had nearly 17,000 posts on Twitter. Vice President Leni Robredo also trended with the hashtag #NasaanAngBisePresident as critics asked where she was during the deluge.
Robredo said she was coordinating flood relief, as she did during monster storms Rolly (Goni) and Ulysses (Vamco) last November.
MORE ON TROPICAL DEPRESSION VICKY:
Vicky had exited the Mindanao landmass by dawn Saturday and was on course to hit the northern or central portion of Palawan later in the day, PAGASA said. At 7 a.m., it was spotted 240 km West of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center with 55 kph gusts.
Here are imaged from the public information office of Bislig City in Surigao del Sur:
The combined effects of Vicky and the Amihan northeast monsoon will bring rains to large swaths of the country furing the entire weekend, PAGASA said.
Here are images from Agusan del Sur which we are using with permission:
On Saturday, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains was forecast over CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Visayas, Aurora, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, and the northern and central portions of Palawan including Calamian, Cuyo, and Cagayancillo Islands. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over mainland Cagayan Valley, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Metro Manila, and the rest of Central Luzon, MIMAROPA and Cordillera Administrative Region.
On Sunday, heavy to intense rains over Bicol Region, Quezon, Aurora, Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya. Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Oriental Mindoro, Kalayaan Islands, and the rest of mainland Cagayan Valley. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Metro Manila, Eastern Visayas, Bulacan, Dinagat Islands, and the rest of Cordillera Administrative Region.