Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines —Thousands of families in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental were forced to seek refuge in evacuation centers because of floods on Christmas Eve.

Gingoog City Administrator Enrique Guevarra said in a phone interview that incessant rains on Dec. 24 caused floods which submerged 16 out of 79 barangays in waters up to four feet high, prompting local authorities to evacuate residents.

The local government said 6,615 families or more than 33 thousand individuals were affected by the floods.

Guevarra said they did not expect the intensity of the rains. Intermittent rains are still being experienced as of Sunday.

Gingoog City has requested assistance from the Regional Office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Cagayan de Oro City for those affected by the floods.

Guevarra also said there have been no reports of casualties, injuries, or missing persons, but they continue to brace for any eventuality due to the shear line that is currently affecting Mindanao.

Meanwhile, the field offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao have been directed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to start relief operations in provinces affected by the flooding.

“The DSWD field offices in Regions VIII (Eastern Visayas) and X (Northern Mindanao) have started distributing family food packs to residents,” the Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement on Sunday.

DSWD Region VIII Director Grace Subon said a total of 32,458 individuals were affected by the flooding in six towns in Eastern Samar (Jipapad, Oras, Arteche, Mercedes, Taft, Giporlos) over the holiday weekend.

The distribution of relief items began on Sunday and will continue on Monday.

Meanwhile, Region X Director Ramel Jamen said they have also began distributing food and non-food relief items to over 9,342 families or 45,687 individuals in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Camiguin and Bukidnon. Of those affected, Jamen said 9,256 families or 45,242 individuals remained in evacuation centers as of 3 p.m. Sunday.

CNN Philippines’ Pia Garcia contributed to this report.