• The body of a soldier who went missing Jan. 9 after being swept away by water currents was found
  • Around 10,233 people were evacuated in Catbalogan City and nine other towns
  • The towns of Basey and Can-avid in Samar have declared a state of calamity

Thousands of people fled their homes Wednesday as heavy rains flooded many areas across Visayas and Mindanao, as some parts submerged in chest-deep waters.

Two more towns have been placed under a state of calamity due to a low pressure area that has been bringing widespread rain.

In Mindanao's Zamboanga City, about 2,540 people were evacuated from their homes on Wednesday as floodwaters swept 13 villages, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

Most of the evacuees were sheltered in barangay halls and covered courts designated as evacuation sites.

The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative also had to shut down power supply in 18 areas of the city as a precaution as floodwaters rose.

The Zamboanga International Airport halted operations early Wednesday after the runway was flooded by heavy rains and high tide, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) revealed.

In Catbalogan City and nine other towns across Samar, about 10,233 people were evacuated, PNA News reported.

In eastern Visayas, around 11,158 people were reported staying in evacuation centers across the region as floodwaters reached the roofs of some residences in the area, Sun Star reported.

The Police Regional Office in the region said flood areas reached 168, while a total of 102 areas were without power as of Wednesday.

Samar's Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said in a Wednesday evening report that more than 17,000 people in the town of Gandara evacuated due to the rains.

Also on Wednesday, two more towns, Basey and Can-avid of Samar, declared a state of calamity. Tubod in Lanao del Norte was placed under a state of calamity a day earlier.

Class suspensions have been announced in affected areas, with some locations suspending classes through Friday, including Calbayog City in Samar and Danao City in Cebu, as per CNN Philippines.

Most of the class suspensions were issued in central Visayas, including Bohol, Negros Oriental, Mandaue City, Liloan, Ginatilan, Talisay City, Compostela, Ronda, Santa Fe and Tabogon.

Meanwhile, the Philippine army confirmed the death of a soldier who drowned en route to a Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) site in northern Samar.

The commander of the 8th Infantry Division identified the soldier as Corporal Jerry Palacio, who was on his way to the MDRRMO location to help with the disaster response in the area.

Cpl. Palacio's body was found Wednesday after he went missing Jan. 9 when he was swept away by water currents in San Isidro.

Rescue operation following flood due to Tropical Storm Nalgae in Philippines
The Philippines has been battered by heavy rains since Christmas Day. Reuters