Faulty drainage blamed on Oro flooding

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


A CAGAYAN de Oro City official blamed the city’s faulty drainage for causing the massive urban flooding Sunday evening that sent motorists and commuters stranded for more than an hour along the main roads in barangays Carmen, Kauswagan, Bulua and Lapasan.

Teddy Sabuga-a, city social welfare and development chief, underscored the importance of the drainage which could have averted the flash floods that resulted to displacement of residents in affected areas.

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“Even before, the comprehensive land use planning should have been established which will identify geographical areas of danger in residential and commercial spots. We are a third-class city, and yet we don’t have a comprehensive drainage,” he told this paper Monday morning.

Sabuga-a noted there are culverts in the drainage that were filled in to give way to business establishments.

This drainage problem has remained one of the reasons why it always floods during heavy rains as the drains are also clogged with garbage that stops the flow of the water.

Despite this situation, more buildings have mushroomed in these areas.

With the inundation in the major roads in the city, numerous vehicles broke down while the drivers tried to negotiate with the flooded areas.

More families displaced

As intermittent rains persisted over the last three days beginning Friday last week, more families have been recorded displaced that almost doubled the number of families affected from last Saturday’s 303 to 571 as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Landslides, flash floods and destruction of houses have drastically increased the number of families affected in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental as two low pressure areas (LPA) positioned in the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) over the weekend.

However, only one LPA has remained and it has been moving 700 km East of Northern Samar toward the Philippine area of responsibility Monday evening.

The total displaced families comprised around 1,835 individuals.

The City Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) in the city has recorded a total of 283 displaced families composed of 1,453 individuals who were sheltered in different evacuation centers in the affected villages of Cugman, Gusa, Carmen, Canitoan, Pagatpat, Bulao and Bulua in Cagayan de Oro at the height of the flooding.

This figure adds to the 210 families previously affected in Cugman and Gusa Saturday evening.

Misamis Oriental

The Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) also recorded a total of 78 displaced families composed of 323 individuals from the towns of Opol, El Salvador and Lagonglong in Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, infrastructures such as the Calongonan steel bridge in Alubijid town and RCDC bridge in Manticao town had also been reported damaged.

Edmundo Pacamalan Jr., provincial administrator of Misamis Oriental, has placed all the damages in houses and infrastructures amounting to P96,000.

Maryciel Lariosa, camp manager of the evacuation center at West City Central School covered court, said most of the victims are living near the creek which swelled up Sunday evening, while others were from areas hit by landslides that damaged their houses.

Last Sunday, Cugman chair Marlon Tabak prevented 15 households from going back to their destroyed houses at Bigaan riverside due to the imminent danger whenever downpour persists.

Based on the city’s shelter plan, these areas affected have been identified as part of the surveyed dangerous spots in Cagayan de Oro.

Sabuga-a cited their difficulty in convincing informal settlers to relocate in safer places the local government has prepared for them.

“These rains will continue until December, so we need a long-term solution for this not just to have these victims sheltered in evacuation centers, but to place them in a safer place,” he said.

He furthered there has been an ongoing construction of housing projects in Barangay Balubal for the informal settlers.

“We understand that when these people are relocated there could be changes in their lifestyle. But, they have to accept that because safety has to come first,” Sabuga-a added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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