ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - At least 60 houses were destroyed and 17 others were damaged when waves as big as the houses slammed into the village of Labuan here on New Year's Eve.
It was Tropical Depression Seniang's way of saying goodbye, according to some officials.
"Seniang still hit our village as it left the country last night," said Ronald Maravilla, village chief of Labuan.
"So many families were left homeless," he said. He added that the displaced had taken shelter in covered courts, schools or in relatives' houses.
Radeem Ali, a resident, said the waves started pounding the houses around 7pm.
Around 9pm, Ali said he and other residents started to flee as the waves grew bigger.
Maravilla said the waves grew 20 to 30 feet high, destroying and washing out shoreline houses.
Maria Socorro Roxas, the city social welfare officer, told the Inquirer that at least 120 families lost their homes.
She said aid workers are bringing food to the displaced.
New Year flood
In Naga City, four days of rain brought knee-deep flood in low-lying villages on New Year's Day.
Naga City Mayor John Bongat said a blue alert has been raised over the city due to the flooding that had inundated low-lying areas and communities along Sagop Creek.
The mayor said he had also directed village and disaster mitigation officials in the city to keep a close watch on the Bicol and Naga Rivers, both of which traverse heavily populated areas in the city, in case these would overflow.
Among the villages along Sagop Creek that are now flooded are Del Rosario, Concepcion Grande, Concepcion Pequena, Triangulo and Tabuco, he said.
The mayor said officials were prepared to evacuate residents in these areas should the rain continue.
Some of the villages in danger of being flooded should Naga River overflow are Panganiban, Penafrancia, Igualdad, Abella and Sabang.
Bongat said the flood is expected to subside immediately if the weather improves in the next few days, as the city government had recently rehabilitated the city's drainage system.
Seniang was the last storm to enter the Philippine area of responsibility. It followed "Ruby," which was a stronger storm that carried more than 200 kph winds.