Flood kills 2, displaces 2,869 families-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
TWO persons were killed while 2,869 families were displaced when a flashflood hit Zamboanga City Tuesday noon.
Roel Patrociño, 17, a second-year student at the Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology, was reported missing Sunday after he went swimming at the Tumaga River. His lifeless body was recovered Tuesday afternoon in the waters off the village of Arena Blanco.
The other fatality, who is the house help of National Food Authority (NFA) regional accountant Edwina Bernad, remains unidentified.
Bernad was also missing after she and her helper were swept by rampaging floodwater around 2 a.m. Tuesday at 3rd Street, San Roe Subdivision in the village of San Jose-Gusu.
The body of the house help was recovered around 3 a.m. Tuesday near the western end of the Zamboanga International Airport's runway.
The flashflood also damaged several riprap, hanging bridge and other infrastructures in the city.
Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has convened the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) on Tuesday to assess the situation and discuss interventions for the affected families.
The CDRRMC has approved a resolution recommending to the City Council the declaration of a state of calamity in Zamboanga City and to recommend the subsequent release of calamity funds for assistance.
The incessant rains with occasional strong winds battered this city since Friday affecting 22 of this city's 98 villages, mostly low-lying area.
A total of 2,869 families, consisting of 8,848 individuals from the 22 affected villages, were evacuated as of Tuesday noon.
City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat reported that a total of 4,983 hectares of rice and cornfields, vegetable farms and fishponds and seaweed farms were also damaged.
Cost of damage of agricultural crops had yet to be ascertained, according to Palacat.
Airport operation was also suspended Tuesday due to flooding on the runway and shut down air navigation equipment.
Salazar has ordered Tuesday the suspension of classes in all levels -- both public and private, as well as called off work in all government offices -- local and national due to flooding.
Salazar has directed the village officials to utilize their five percent calamity fund and to mobilize resources to assist their displaced constituents.
She lamented that this city is undergoing another challenge caused by natural calamity even as it barely took off from the recent standoff brought about by the infiltration of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels in this city.
"This is another crisis but we should remain strong and united in confronting all these trials and challenges," she added.