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Residents in Surigao provinces, islands heave sigh of relief after Tsunami scare

Thousands of Surigaonons including local officials heaved a sigh of relief late Sunday afternoon after the government lifted the tsunami alert.

Several residents went back to their respective homes late Sunday afternoon while others did so Monday morning.

The provincial, municipal and city government of Surigao del Norte and Surigao City mobilized several vehicles and motor boats to ferry the evacuees back home. Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Ace Barbers and Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Casurra also distributed some provisions to the evacuees.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco T. Matugas who personally conducted a town-to-town and island-to-island inspection of his constituents since early Sunday morning also heaved a sigh of relief when the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Surigao announced the lifting of Alert Level 2 late Sunday afternoon.

“Thank God,” said Rep. Matugas.

In Surigao del Sur, Governor Vicente Pimentel also led other provincial, municipal and city officials ferry their constituents back to their respective places, particularly those living along the coastal areas.
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In the southern tip city of Mati in Southern and Northeastern Mindanao, local officials also distributed snack packs consisting of bread and bottled water to returning residents in their respective homes from 16 coastal villages who had earlier camped out in sports gymnasiums and the provincial capitol.

Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat offered vehicles to the evacuees and ferried them back home.

“So far, life in Surigao provinces, especially of those living in the islands is slowly returning to normal,” declared Rep. Matugas.

He said the evacuation of the residents and return home was orderly and systematic.

The Surigao del Norte solon only noted that the people in Surigao have learned a lesson that is to be prepared to respond to any threat.

Matugas said the residents voluntarily left their homes and sought higher ground and safer places, a normal thing to do for those who are living near the sea and facing a threat such as a tsunami.

The Surigao del Norte solon suggested that disaster drills be sustained and all sectors must participate to avert loss of lives and properties. (muc/PIA-Caraga)
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