‘Agaton’ brings landslides in Oro, MisOr

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Saturday, January 18, 2014


TWO landslides have been reported in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental Province on Friday as the low pressure area (LPA) turned into a tropical depression named by the state weather bureau as ‘Agaton’.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) confirmed on Friday landslides in Barangay F.S. Catanico and in Barangay Sta. Ana, Tagoloan town.

Alejandro Bascon, head of the PDRRMO, said the landslide in Sta. Ana rendered one lane impassable. He added the road is linked to the national road going to Bukidnon province.

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The engineering and maintenance team of the province conducted clearing operations to ensure that traffic continues.

He said Misamis Oriental is eyeing a long-term solution because soil erosion has been a regular occurrence in the area.

“There were no casualties during the landslide,” Bascon said.

Meanwhile, Virgil Lago, the weather specialist of CDRRMO, said the landslide at F.S. Catanico happened on Thursday but it was only reported on Friday since the area is the hinterland while communication and verification took time.

The city’s engineering office immediately went to clear the road affected by the incident.

Lago confirmed no one was hurt in the landslide in F.S. Catanico.

As of 12 p.m. Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported that Agaton was 150-kilometers northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur.

Lago added that Agaton’s track is headed toward the south.

However, Lago furthered that the tropical depression will eventually pivot and may hit the Northern Mindanao region.

On its Facebook page, the Department of Science and Technology (Dost) reported that as of 4 p.m. Friday, the center of Agaton was estimated at 165 km. northeast of Hinautan, Surigao del Sur or 190 km. east of Surigao City.

Northern Mindanao residents brace for Tropical Depression Agaton
LANAO DEL NORTE. Commuters plying western and northern Mindanao are severely affected after the Larapan Bridge that links Linamon and Kauswagan towns collapsed as low pressure area hovered in Mindanao for a week. Today, communities in this part of Northern Mindanao brace for Tropical Depression Agaton. (Richel V. Umel)



Preparation

The CDRRMO is deploying two teams per shift to ensure public safety.
Lago said the CDRRMO operates on a 24-hour basis with three shifts and each shift is composed of seven to nine personnel.

“Because of TD Agaton, the office will employ ‘double team’—14 to 20 personnel in every shift,” said Lago.

The CDRRMO is monitoring the Bubunawan and Talakag rivers every hour to check the water levels.

The disaster office has already made preparations even before Pagasa declared the LPA a tropical depression.

He said two rubber boats and an ambulance are ready for dispatch.
Bascon said MisOr deployed trucks for the preemptive evacuation as Agaton gets closer to Mindanao.

Bascon said in the municipalities of Magsaysay, Talisayan, Balingasag and Gingoog City experienced heavy downpour.

“The role of the Provincial Government is to augment forces and aid in case the local government cannot anymore handle situations,” he said.

Food packs

Emilia Andea, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development (PSWD), said their office has 1,590 family packs at bay in case the resources of the municipal governments are already exhausted.

She added that the families who evacuated because of Tropical Depression Agaton were given food packs during evacuation.

Apart from the packed food items, Andea said their office has 38 sacks of rice rationed to 650 food packs that include canned goods.

Patrick Alain Callanta, Office of Civil Defense-Northern Mindanao (OCD-10) operations officer, said they are currently relaying information to various offices, and collecting reports from other agencies for the national office.

Callanta said if the local government units (LGU) cannot handle the crisis OCD will interfere to help manage the situation.

“As of now the LGUs can still handle the effects of TD Agaton because none yet have sought our help,” said Callanta.

He added the OCD is not a response agency but a management agency.
Based on their latest report, the Provincial Board of Lanao Del Norte declared the province as under a “state of calamity.”

The City Government of Iligan also declared a “state of calamity.”

“Relief assistance is being provided to evacuated families by their respective LGUs,” the OCD report read.

Meanwhile, the LPA damaged around 2,386.75 hectares of agricultural area that ruined 4,854 tons of agricultural yields, based on the latest data in the region.

The destruction on agriculture reached more than P20 million while infrastructure is pegged at P85-M.

Also, the PDRRMC urges the people to contact their office should they need assistance.

Temporary steel bridge

In Linamon town in Lanao del Norte, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been on its third day working overtime to construct the 50–linear meter temporary steel bridge after the 57-years-old Larapan bridge that connects the two coastal villages of Napo in Linamon and Libertad in Kauswagan town collapsed after rampaging waters with debris rammed the sagging part of the bridge in the evening on January 13.

Engr. Rey Peter Gille, DPWH Lanao II district engineer, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that the one-lane steel bridge will only accommodate 10 tons of load allowing only light vehicles and commuters to pass.

Hundreds of commuters and vehicles from both sides of barangays Napo and Libertad have been stranded since January 13.

The commuters and light cargoes are boarded on pump or paddle boats at P20 per person in order to cross the Larapan River.

A pump boat capsized Tuesday morning due to overloading.

The Philippine Coast Guard has been closely supervising the ferrying of passengers to prevent the same incident to recur.

Gille said: "The P15-million bailey steel bridge is like an FVR presidential steel that can be constructed in a given time to resolve the problem on accessibility.

"While the construction of Bailey bridge is underway, the DPHW engineering team is improving the access road upstream passing barangay Libertad to the hinterland village of Tingin-tingin in Kauswagan town,” Gille said.

"We are on the process of replacing the damage spillway with huge culverts to cater heavy loads," Gille said.

He said the military has been tapped to maintain peace and order while the construction is ongoing and until the road can be passable," Gille said.

Gille is still in Manila Friday to get and transport more than 500 panel pins intended for the construction of the Bailey bridge.

"At press time, the pile drive of steel foundation is still ongoing despite the heavy rains as tropical depression "Agaton" has been hoisted in northeastern Mindanao,” he said.

Gille said the proposed P120 Million Larapan bridge reconstruction will be studied with regard to its location.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 18, 2014.

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