5 provinces under calamity state

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Friday, January 7, 2011


FIVE provinces are now under state of calamity as flooding and landslides continue to displace thousands of residents Friday.

The latest addition to the list of provinces declared under state of calamity is Northern Samar, where 13,000 families have reportedly been displaced by flooding brought about by heavy rains, which started since December 7.

The weather bureau reported that the water level in the area is now 110.5 milliliter. No tropical cyclones, however, have been monitored in the area as of the latest weather report.

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Also placed under state of calamity were the provinces of Southern Leyte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, and Albay.

The declaration allowed these provinces to use their calamity fund, which is equivalent to five percent of their internal revenue allotment.

Half-a-million mark

A total of 131,780 families with 684,153 members in 843 barangays of 103 municipalities and eight cities and 21 provinces in Mimaropa, Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Caraga and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) were affected as of Friday.

Caraga got the highest number of affected population with 76,078 families (399,403 persons), followed by Eastern Visayas with 30,889 families (163,888 persons), while Bicol ranked third with 14,966 families (71,569 persons).

Death toll has reached 29. Three from Albay (Bicol), five in Southern Leyte (Eastern Visayas), one in Lanao del Norte (Northern Mindanao), one each from Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, and Davao del Sur (Davao Region).

The most number of fatalities are also in Caraga: two in Agusan del Norte, one in Surigao del Norte, two in Bislig City, one in San Miguel, and one in Cagwait, all in Surigao del Sur; four in Prosperidad, one in Bunawan, one in Bayugan, one in Sibagat, one in San Francisco, one in San Luis, and one in Jabonga, all Agusan del Sur.

Eight others have been injured in Southern Leyte.

Damage to crops, properties

A total of 334 houses were affected, 135 of which were destroyed while 199 were damaged. Of this number, 26 houses were destroyed in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte, while 51 were damaged also in the two provinces for a total of 77, the second largest number of affected houses.

Caraga still topped the list with 183 houses, of which 71 were destroyed and 112 were damaged.

Damage to agriculture has been estimated at P62.47-million enumerated as: 627.5 hectares seedlings, rice and vegetables in Albay (P1.36 million); crops in Southern Leyte (P8.19 million); crops, livestock and fisheries in Tubod, Lanao del Norte (P3.47 million); crops in Davao del Norte (P410,000); and crops in Caraga region (P49-million).

Davao del Norte incurred P16.4 million of the total P120.76-million damage in infrastructure.

Damage to properties in Caraga was estimated at P92.4 million.

In Agusan del Sur, Awa-Aspetia Road and Butuan-Talacogon-La Paz Road are impassable to all types of vehicles, while four road sections along Butuan-Talacogon-La Paz are flooded/eroded and passable only to motorcycles.

In Surigao del Sur, Payasan-Los Arcos Road and Gamut-San Miguel Road are impassable due to series of landslides and flooding; Surigao-Davao Coastal Road is passable only to heavy vehicles; Tago-La Paz Bridge - craneway washed-out; Lingig-Davao Oriental Boundary is impassable due to landslide; and JCT Lingig-Trento Road is impassable due to road depression/embankment slip Surigao del Norte-Del Carmen-San Benito Road is impassable to all types of vehicles due to rock fall.

In Davao Region, two footbridges in Barangay Andap, New Mabini in Compostela Valley were washed out. The National Highway along San Jose, Monkayo; Barangays Cambagang and Poblacion, Maragusan and Barangays Cogonon and San Roque, New Bataan are impassable.

Davao del Sur Roads along Barangays Pongpong and Buca, Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur are impassable to all types of vehicles.

Identities

In Southern Leyte, the council recorded five fatalities. The victims were identified as Fatima Discaryal, Rodel Discaryal, Jordan Laquipon, Recabel Montederamos, and Patrick Pelaez.

In Agusan provinces, the fatalities include Dioscoro Albiro and Shielo Carrido of Butuan City in Agusan del Norte, and Michael Rodrigo Otero, Junmark Lara Castro, Ceasar Alisna Aquilan, Armando Batilaran, Bryl Jake Mondejar, and Francis Eclipse Tablón of Agusan del Sur.

Five deaths were also recorded in Surigao provinces. These include Roberto Dalangin of Tubod, Surigao del Norte; and Maxwell Tajo, Alberto Paradaña Rebasora, Ramil Lamigo Bobiles, Rustico Lamigo Pacaldo, and Rustico Lamigo Pacaldo of Surgiao del Sur.

Flooding and landslide in Albay also killed three individuals, namely: Antonio Dadap, Lolita Dadap and Maricris Abrigo.

Four persons were also killed in Northern Mindanao and Davao Regions. They were identified as Christine Telostina of Baroy town in Lanao del Norte; Apolinaria Porras of Mt. Diwata in Compostela Valley; Jonas Caan of Barangay Pongpong, Davao del Sur; and Eserio F. Daniel of Davao del Norte.

The flooding and landslides also left eight people injured. The victims were identified as Cherry Lakipon, Elvia Lakipon, Jerry Lakipon, Jimboy Lakipon, Aida Napuli, Rowen Libres, Stephanie Libres and Police Officer 3 Noel Talisic, all residents of Southern Leyte.

As of this posting Friday, the NDRRMC reported that 131,780 families or 684,153 persons were affected by the continuous rains that hit 21 provinces in the country.

Loss of trees

Meanwhile, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Davao Director Jim Sampulna said reforestration is the solution to landslides and floodings caused by heavy downpour.

"Kaya nga kelangan natin higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng reforestation sa ating mga gubat dito para maiwasan na ang ganitong kalamidad, magtulungan tayo, hindi rin naming kaya kung kami lang (We really have to enforce the reforestation to avoid such calamity, Let's help each other, we alone can't do this)," Sampulna said in a phone interview.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) attributed the recent downpour to the tail-end of the cold front that still lingers in the region.

Prevailing factor of floods in most parts of Visayas and Mindanao is the continuous destruction to the environment, most especially the deforestation.

To date, a total of 8,026 families from Davao have been affected by the flooding.

In Davao Oriental, 3,727 families are affected; Compostela Valley reported 2,299; Davao del Norte has 1,750; while Davao del Sur's 250 families are in dire need of help.

At least 10 people were reportedly injured while three died during the raging floods. Two dead bodies were found in Sta. Maria while the other fatality is from Compostela Valley.

"This is the result of the cutting of trees of the residents who use them for coal. Nothing's left that can control the flow of the flood and other calamities," said Sta. Maria Vice Mayor Mila Cabañero in vernacular.

Sampulna urged the intensification of DENR's reforestation program this 2011. (SAE/CMH/With Sunnex and Leyte Samar Daily Express)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 08, 2011.

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