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THE PHILIPPINE Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued on Thursday a flood warning over Eastern Visayas provinces as Tropical Depression Marilyn threatens to dump heavy rains on the region.

In an advisory issued early Thursday, the state weather bureau identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by the heavy downpour.

These water courses are in Sangputan, Palo, Solano, Daguitan, Marabong, Cadacan, Bongquirogon, Salug, Pagbanagaran, Pagsangahan, and Binahaan in Leyte; and Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mano, and Gamay in Northern Samar.

Other affected rivers are Oras, Dolores, Ulot, Taft, Borongan, Suribao, Llorento, Balangiga, and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Basey, Silaga, Calbiga and Jibatan in Samar; and Bisay, Himbangan, and Pandan in Southern Leyte; and all river systems in Biliran province.

People living in low-lying areas near these river systems are advised to be on alert for possible flash floods. Those settled near mountain slopes are told to watch out for signs of landslides.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has identified 2,433 villages in the region as highly susceptible to flooding. The agency urged local governments to conduct appropriate preparedness and disaster risk reduction measures as needed.

Meanwhile, classes have been suspended on Thursday in the towns of Naval, Biliran, Kawayan, Caibiran, Almeria, Culaba, and Cabucgayan in Biliran province; and Carigara, Leyte due to heavy rains dumped by the tropical depression since Wednesday.

The Department of Education said that since there was no typhoon signal, classes would continue except when local chief executives declared a suspension of classes through the issuance of an executive order. (By Sarwell Meniano)

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