AMID the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the City Government of Davao commemorated the ninth anniversary of the Matina flashflood, which had changed the city's response mechanism in times of disasters and calamities.
The City Government, led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, had a simple commemoration ceremony of the city's deadliest flood that claimed some 30 lives and displaced around 3,000 families.
Unlike in previous years, only the mayor, along with some high-ranking city officials, attended the commemoration.
"Ginabuhat nato ning (We are doing this annual) memorial because we wanted to pray for the souls of those who died and to highlight the importance of early evacuation, and the call of the government to evacuate," Duterte-Carpio said.
She also said the flashflood incident is also a lesson learned for everyone to always heed with the local government's calls for immediate evacuation when there is a calamity.
"Pag muingon na gani ang gobyerno na mag-evacuate namo, bisan wala pa mo'y nakita nga ulan or tubig, dapat musunod gihapon kita sa pre-emptive evacuation (If the government calls for an evacuation, the people should respond despite not seeing any visible sight of rain or surge of water
level)," the mayor said.
The Matina flashflood commemoration also coincided with the flashflood in Digos City, Davao del Sur on June 28. The city sympathized with the affected families.
The mayor said it is a "sad day" that the two events coincided.
"Our thoughts and prayers to the people of Digos City who were affected by the Sunday night flood," Duterte-Carpio said.
The mayor said the City Government will offer assistance to the flood victims, although she said the City has yet to determine what assistance they will be offering since the Digos government is still assessing the damages.
Some 300 families fled from their flooded homes after Caños River overflowed on Sunday, June 28.