DAVAO CITY -- Davao Oriental towns facing the Pacific Ocean are isolated as floodwaters damaged bridges while the low pressure area affecting the region continues to make access by air and sea difficult.
The damaged bridges are Lumao Bridge in Cateel, Manurigao and San Isidro Bridges of Caraga town, Baugo Bridge in Baganga, and another bridge in Manay.
The towns from Manay up to the last town of Boston are thus unreachable from the capital City of Mati, while each town are isolated from each other.
Information from the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental showed that a Navy boat left Sunday night with relief goods using the route used after Typhoon Pablo.
It can be recalled that even before roads could be cleared after the December 4, 2012 typhoon that hit the east coast towns, Davao City was among the first to bring over relief goods.
Other routes being considered are those via Surigao del Sur and Compostela Valley, but the Surigao route is likewise flooded while landslides threaten the Compostela Valley route.
Meanwhile in Davao del Norte, four towns have already declared states of calamity because of flooding.
A total of 533 families were evacuated by the Tagum City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) as floodwaters submerged their homes due to the inclement weather brought by a low pressure area.
Also declared under states of calamity by their respective legislative councils were the towns of Carmen, New Corella, and Kapalong.
The City Council of Tagum in its session on January 13, 2014 also approved the resolution declaring the city under a state of calamity, which allows the release of calamity funds that will be used to cover aid, relief, and rehabilitation services to communities affected by the disaster.
Continuous rain since the weekend caused flooding in some barangays, including Cuambogan, Canococotan, San Miguel, Pagsabangan, Apokon, and Mankilam.
Evacuees were given relief packs by the local government, according to City Information Officer Cromwell Bonghanoy.
The new batch of relief goods were augmented by 340 more relief packs from the typhoon Zoraida relief operations that were not used.
The relief packs includes three kilos of rice, four canned goods and four packs of instant noodles.
On Saturday, Mayor Rellon signed Memorandum Order No. 49 which activated the incident command post of the CDRRMO in Freedom Park. Upon activation, the team was on stand-by round-the-clock for emergency situations and evacuation operations. (Sun.Star Davao/With report from Louie Lapat of CIO-Tagum)