Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Flooding in Butuan City due to Tropical Storm Lingling (Agaton)

[UPDATE: On monday evening, Fe received word from a relative in Butuan City, saying that the family are all well, and the floodwaters have subsided.]

As of Monday morning, 20 January (Pacific Standard Time), Fe's home town of Butuan City is experiencing serious flooding due largely, as far as I can tell, to the swelling of the Agusan River upstream closer to Davao.   Moderate to heavy rainfall continues to be predicted for Butuan, at least for now.  We have not been able to contact Fe's relatives in Butuan City, although two of her young relatives have posted on Facebook, somehow. 

I am trying to collect some background information here, since we cannot correspond directly to Butuan City.   I have used the Google search tools to limit my search to the last hour.  A number of photographs are to be found online by searching "Butuan Agaton" and at least one indistinct YouTube video.  The general impression is that a large number of Barangays (villages) are flooded, and a large number of people have been evacuated from their homes. 

It is extremely interesting that the only direct information we have received has been through FaceBook postings by very young relatives of Fe.  Doc Searles has discussed in the past the user of twitter during disasters. 

Butuan City is located ON the Agusan River delta, and it has been subject to flooding in the past.  When we were in Butuan City in 1997, I met with a programmer/specialist from the municipal government, and received a CD of electronic maps showing the regions that had been flooded in the past.  Drainage had been installed, and the sense was that what could be done was being done to protect Butuan City from the same kind of catastrophic flooding that had been experienced in the past. 

Climate (note from http://hnricbtn.tripod.com/Anorte.html)

Agusan del Norte is outside the typhoon belt. There is no definite dry season. Rainfall is pronounced throughout the year with maximum rainfall occuring from November to January.
Annual average rainfall is 91.5 inches, an annual total of 217 rainy days or a monthly average of 18,01 rainy days per month. The average annual temperature is 27.5 °C and annual humidity average 85%.

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