by Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains since Wednesday are threatening parts of the Caraga region which is still reeling from a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that jolted Surigao City last week.
Rising floodwaters also forced the evacuation of hundreds of individuals in Davao City and Compostela Valley.
The Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DCDRRMO) reported around 100 families evacuated along the city’s rivers when heavy rains threatened to flood homes.
The rains started Wednesday and lasted until Thursday morning.
Central 911 head Emmanuel Jaldon said the affected areas include Barangay Talomo and puroks Taal, Bolosan, 34, and 35 in NHA; Sitio Morio-Morio, Sunnyville, and Ulas Teachers Village.
The barangay disaster response teams were immediately dispatched to the areas along with volunteer groups Aqua Tierra, Kabalikat 995, and USAR 911.
According to the agency, the swelling of the Davao River was due to heavy rains over Marilog Proper, Tamugan, Dominga, Callawa, Mandug and Maa.
The heavy rainfall Wednesday night flooded some streets and other low lying areas in this city and likewise rendered many roads impassable to vehicles in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur.
As of 12 noon yesterday, 575 families were already sheltered in various evacuation centers at the San Miguel town proper, Surigao del Sur’s disaster risk reduction and management council reported.
Heavy rains also started to inundate the provincial and municipal roads within the five river towns in Agusan del Sur and some of the barangay roads were again rendered impassable.
These river towns recently suffered severe flooding due to typhoon “Auring” last month
BRACE FOR MORE RAINS
Meanwhile, the tail-end of a cold front affecting Caraga region will cause rains, state weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Thursday.
In its 24-hour forecast, PAGASA said cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flash floods and landslides will be experienced over Caraga region and Southern Mindanao.
Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are also expected over the rest of Mindanao, PAGASA added.
Eight people in Surigao del Norte died from last week’s earthquake, said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on its situation report No. 7 released Thursday.
NDRRMC also said around 202 people sustained injuries from the earthquake but they already received medical treatment.
The earthquake affected about 16,655 people in 60 villages of Surigao del Norte.
The partially assessed and validated damage brought about by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that jolted this city and Surigao del Norte is nearing the P1 billion mark, the provincial and city disaster risk reduction and management councils (CDDRMC / PDRRMC) reported yesterday.
The PDRRMC pegged the damage to roads and bridges at P201.8 million; school building and facilities at P176.5 million, other infrastructures at P194.8 million, provincial government buildings at P104.3 million, electric power facilities at P7.3 million, water facilities and supply at P2.3 million and Caraga Regional Hospital at P488,000.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also reported the initial and partial assessed and validated damaged national roads and bridges to more than P103.450 million
But the NDRRMC said that the total worth of damage to infrastructure in Surigao del Norte has only reached close to P700 million.
Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, NDRRMC Executive Director, said of the total damage recorded in the province, P14, 250,000 are for roads, P89,200,000 are for bridges, P7 million is for the Caraga Regional Hospital (CRH), P2 million is for the Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, P7,698,000 are for school facilities, P150 million is for the Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT) Surigao City Campus, and P12 million for the Quezon Campus.
For port facilities, total damage is placed at P161,500,000, electric power at P7,309,532.91, water supply at P1.7 million, San Francisco Infrastructure and Residential Houses at P27 million, provincial government buildings/infrastructure at P104,391,000, and the provincial bridge (Anao-aon Bridge) at P115 million.
The government has provided assistance to majority of quake-hit areas in Surigao del Norte as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues its distribution of relief goods.
The DSWD said only 15 out of the 54 barangays in the province including hard to reach island communities are yet to be given post-calamity aid but state social workers are already doubling down to get there immediately.
These are identified as the towns of Cagniog, Canlanipa, Capalayan, Lipata, Lisondra, Mabini, Mapawa, Mat-I, Nonoc, Quezon, Rizal, San Jose, Sugbay, Taft, and Washington in Surigao City, the central point of the 6.7-magnitude tremor last Friday.
Some of the residents in those barangays, however, managed to receive family food packs and drinking water during the initial relief drive of the DSWD last Sunday. The donations sent by other non-government organizations, private institutions and local government units also reached them.
Officials and staff of the DSWD in Caraga were in San Francisco, Surigao del Norte the past couple of days to distribute relief goods in Barangay Poblacion. Some 1,302 family food packs will reportedly be released to the municipality as augmentation support.
“Currently, efforts to transport the goods are meeting challenges because the bridge connecting Surigao City and the municipality was damaged by the February 10 earthquake. The detour being used passes through a wide quarry and a river also has to be crossed,” the DSWD said. (With reports from PNA, Francis T. Wakefield, and Aytch dela Cruz)