THE whole town of Masantol has been placed under state of calamity by Mayor Danilo Guintu due to deep floods in all barangays as Tropical Depression Henry triggered heavy rains compounded by high tide.
In a special session Wednesday afternoon, members of the Municipal Council approved the declaration following the recommendation made by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) which continuously monitors flooded areas here.
Guintu said the declaration will fast track the release of calamity funds to help residents and fishpond and aquaculture operators who were affected by the flash and deep flooding after several days of rain.
Based on the report released by MDRRMC, all 26 barangays in this town were submerged in one to almost five feet of floodwaters as of yesterday noon, affecting some 5,514 families or 25,460 individuals.
“The whole town is already submerged in water, especially barangays in the left bank portion of our town which are experiencing almost five feet of floods. Even our town plaza is flooded, especially on afternoons when tide level is high,” he said.
While all major roads remain passable, Guintu said that the MDRRMC is monitoring six secondary dikes in Barangays Bagang, Cambasi, Nigui, Palimpe, Sagrada and Sta. Cruz due to reported minor damages and overflowing of the Pampanga River in the area.
Meanwhile, Guintu disclosed an estimated P770-million value of aquaculture crops from 2,500 hectares of fishponds were reportedly damaged by the consecutive flash floods and descend of waters from the upstream.
Particularly, Guintu reported that 7,500 metric tons of prawns (sugpo) amounting to P100-million; 1,250 metric tons of crabs amounting to P500-million; 200 metric tons of milkfish (bangus) amounting to P24-million; and 2,500 metric tons of tilapia amounting to P150-million were damaged as of yesterday afternoon.
“The simultaneous downpour of rain and occurrence of flash floods, high tide and descent of water from the upstream has also affected our agriculture sector which is the main source of livelihood in our town. Based on our assessment, a total of 950 fishpond operators were already affected,” he said.
With the declaration of the state of calamity, Guintu said that they can now mobilize their calamity funds to immediately provide assistance to affected individuals.
He stressed that the local government is already preparing 5,000 packs of relief goods, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development vowed to provide additional 2,000 packs of relief goods to be distributed to affected residents.
The Department of Agriculture is also set to provide assistance to affected fishpond operators to address the situation, Guintu said.