TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Council here has placed the regional capital under state of calamity as Tropical Storm Urduja triggered widespread flooding this week.
Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin said that during the council’s special session on Friday, they heeded the request of Mayor Cristina Romualdez, head of the city disaster risk reduction and management council (CDRRMC) to place the city under state of calamity.
Documents provided by the CDRRMC to local legislators reveal that of the 138 villages in the city, 80 have been flooded while eight villages are affected by landslide.
At least 728 families or 1,418 individuals have been transferred to 12 evacuation centers, churches and schools.
“Based on our actual inspection around the city there’s a widespread damage by tropical depression Urduja. We hope that funds can immediately be utilized with this declaration,” Yaokasin said.
Flooding has closed some roads to light vehicles.
On Thursday, December 14, two people were hurt by a landslide that closed a major thoroughfare along Congressman Artemio Mate Avenue. A major landslide was also reported near two resettlement sites in Santo Niño village, but no one was injured.
The declaration of state of calamity will allow the city government to use its PHP50 million calamity fund for emergency response.
“Whatever is left can be used and at the same time the barangay also can use their calamity funds to immediately address the needs of residents in low-lying areas,” Yaokasin said.
Yaokasin said the incessant rains brought by the weather disturbance indicates that flooding is a consistent problem in the city.
“We need to do something to address this problem because the flooding also happens in other areas that are usually flooded in the past,” Yaokasin said.
Tacloban City is the first local government unit in Eastern Visayas affected by the tropical storm which declared state of calamity. (PNA)