Boy killed in flood; 1,017 families displaced-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Monday, September 24, 2012
CONTINUOUS heavy downpour and strong winds in Zamboanga City flooded low-lying areas and uprooted trees, killing a five-year-old boy and displacing at least 1,017 families.
The intermittent but continuous heavy rains and strong winds in the last three days also forced suspension and later cancellation of classes in all levels in both public and private schools Monday.
The continuous heavy rains and strong winds were brought about by southwest monsoon and enhanced further by Typhoon Lawin, said Jose Frivaldo Jr., Zamboanga Synoptic Station Meteorologist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Mayor Celso Lobregat, who chairs the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), mobilized all City Government resources to help alleviate the affected families and individuals.
Lobregat on Sunday went around the different villages monitoring the situation and supervising the relief and rescue operations.
Lobregat activated the CDRRMC Operations Center at the conference room of City Hall that will serve as the monitoring center and will receive all reports, complaints or calls for assistance amid the continuous rains and strong winds.
The center can be reached through landline number 991-45-25 or through cellphone numbers 09166141347 (globe) and 09494066354 (smart).
Casualty and damage
Lobregat, in a press briefing Monday afternoon, reported the death of a five-year-old boy identified as Mark Anthony Mallari. The boy died after an uprooted tree fell on him in the village of Labuan, west of Zamboanga City.
Lobregat said a woman from Licomo village, whose identity was not immediately available, was also wounded in the face when her house collapsed due to liquefaction.
Rubber boats were sent to the village of Vitali and Tugbungan Sunday night to rescue those trapped in the floods.
Based on reports from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), the villages affected by the incessant rains and strong winds include Labuan (141 families), Patalon (52 families), San Jose Gusu (122 families), Baliwasan (113 families) and Zone IV (five families) -- all in this city’s west coast, and barangays Vitali (186 families), Tictapul (77 families), Boalan (21 families), Divisoria (128 families), Tugbungan (93 families) and Lanzones (four families) -- all located in the east coast.
The City Agriculture Office reported hundreds of hectares of farmlands and fishponds destroyed by the floods but the amount of damage is still being verified.
As of Monday, the CDRRMC continued to monitor the situation on the field as the Pagasa forecast show that Zamboanga City will continue to experience monsoon rains and scattered rainshowers.
State of calamity
As this developed, the CDRRMC, in an emergency meeting Monday afternoon, approved a resolution endorsing the declaration of a state of calamity in Zamboanga City.
The resolution was authored by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) city director Mohammad Arakama and seconded by Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Adriano Fuego.
The approved resolution will be submitted to the City Council for appropriate action.
Once a state of calamity will be declared, the City Government can utilize the calamity funds for the repair of damaged infrastructures like rip rapping and shore protection projects.
Meanwhile, the CSWDO headed by Francisco Barredo distributed food assistance to the affected families temporarily residing in the established the different villages affected.