THIRTEEN houses were destroyed while 63 houses were damaged by floods in Bacolod City Friday night, according to the data provided by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) Sunday,.
The floods affected 1,510 persons from 290 families in 14 villages.
The affected families, who sought shelter in schools and churches, returned to their respective homes after the floods subsided early Saturday morning.
Affected were villages 1, 27, 28, 35, 39, 40, 41, Singcang-Airport, Mandalagan, Taculing, Pahanocoy, Mansilingan, Alijis, and Bata.
Executive assistant Jose Maria Vargas, cluster head for CDRRMO, said Sunday, September 24, waters rose in some parts of Bacolod because of the flash floods from the mountains around 8 p.m.
The affected villages are situated near the rivers of Magsungay, Lupit, and Mandalagan.
“There was an overflow of water from the rivers that hit various barangays in Bacolod,” he added.
Vargas noted that the low pressure area was only monitored in the area of Sorsogon, which is very far in Bacolod.
He said the high tide occurred only midnight of Friday.
The strong current of water started to rise between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. that also reached the vicinity of shoppings malls such as Gaisano Grand in Barangay Singcang-Airport and Robinsons Place Bacolod in Barangay Mandalagan.
The floods stranded many commuters and vehicles.
Vargas said the City Government tapped the assistance of garbage hauler IPM-CDC to pick up the stranded passengers.
“Although our team was on standby, it’s unexpected that there will be flash floods from the mountains,” he said.
Vargas added that the water subsided around 3 a.m. Saturday, then all the affected residents returned to their respective homes.
He also said that to prevent a similar incident, the CDRRMO will coordinate with local government units located at the boundaries of Bacolod, including Murcia town and Talisay City, whose rivers are connected to Bacolod’s major rivers.
Vargas said the Mandalagan River starts in the area of Talisay while the Magsungay and Lupit Rivers start in Murcia, between Mt. Kanlaon and Salvador Benedicto.
Aside from those of the CDRRMO and IPM-CDC, personnel and volunteers of Amity, Chamber, Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police were also deployed for the rescue operations.
Vargas said he will also coordinate with the village officials to address the flood problems within their areas of jurisdiction.
Councilor Caesar Distrito, who is from Barangay Singcang-Airport, said Sunday the last time he saw floods with a magnitude like Friday night’s was in 1995.
He said the deaths that time reached 14 just in Barangay Singcang-Airport alone.
“It was nature’s wrath that no one can stop. This was brought by continued heavy rains in the mountains, going down to the city and running through two major rivers in Bacolod that crossed in Barangay Singcang, the Lupit and Magsungay Rivers, as well as the Mandalagan River,” Distrito added.
The councilor said the rain water was also unprecedented in terms of volume as a result of climate change, and garbage that clogged the drainages, equals to flash flood.
Distrito added he is hopeful that the Department of Public Works and Highways in coordination with the City Engineer's Office will find means to work on a much better master drainage plan and work for it, and clear up clogged drainage from garbage to at least minimize the suffering of the public.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on September 25, 2017.
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