By Mars Mosqueda Jr.
At least 10 people were confirmed dead from flash floods unleashed by Tropical Depression Crising over the weekend.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Baltazar Tribunalo said on Monday the fatalities include the eight persons whose houses were washed out by floods in Carmen town, another one from Danao City, and a fisherman from Alcoy town, who drowned after his boat sank.
Tribunalo said his office was also checking reports of a person drowning in the town of Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island.
It was not the first time flashfloods carried off houses in Barangay Ipil in Carmen. Tribunalo said the village had two big floods in past years, although the deaths were limited to just two persons.
Carmen Mayor Gerard Villamor said he had been urging residents in Sitio Duwalog, Barangay Ipil to relocate to a safer place, but some of them defied his request and continued to live near the river, which passes through Ipil, Poblacion, and Dawis Norte.
“The local government has long warned residents to leave the area because it has been identified as hazardous but some remained in their houses,” Villamor told reporters.
In Ipil, a village next to Poblacion, a landslide slipped into the river, blocking its flow. The river burst its banks and swept away the house of the victims.
The municipality of Carmen has been placed under a state of calamity so that it can tap its calamity fund to provide financial assistance to the affected families.
The PDRRMO, along with the town of Carmen and Danao City, will distribute relief goods to about 380 families who sought shelter in chapels and community halls.
The province will also extend P10,000 in financial aid to the families of those who died in the flash flood. (With Kathryn F. Fernandez)