Dabawenyos raise evacuation concerns amid flooding

Dabawenyos raise evacuation concerns amid flooding
Ramcez Villegas/SunStar Photo

CONCERNS have risen among several Dabawenyos affected by the trough of the Low-Pressure Area (LPA) due to the significant impact of heavy flooding in their homes.

Tessie, a resident of Riverside Bypass Maa, shared her experience with SunStar Davao on Friday, February 2, 2024, recounting the ground rumbling the previous night, resulting in the walls and roof of her home breaking. 

Ramcez Villegas/SunStar Photo

Alerted by her neighbor about the imminent danger, she discovered in the morning that the dike near her residence had already cracked.

She said that the ground beneath the dike had softened due to continuous downpours.  

If another flash flood occurs, she expresses her willingness to abandon her belongings and seek safety, stating, "Muhawa gyud ko diri dayon bahala na na og maanod (I will immediately leave, I don’t care even if it will be swept away)."

Having lived in the area for 35 years, she expressed concerns about relocating if forced to leave.

Ramcez Villegas/SunStar Photo
Ramcez Villegas/SunStar Photo

Despite Davao City having an ordinance regarding evacuation during calamities, several residents of El Rio Phase 5 opted to evacuate beside the river instead of going to the designated evacuation centers. 

They argued that the Buhangin Gym, the nearest center, is too far and challenging to reach, especially for the elderly among them.

One resident, who chose not to disclose her name, mentioned that they have been there since January 31, 2024. 

The gym is distant, mostly full, and they are waiting for floodwaters to recede so they can clean the mud brought by it.

“Tan-aw tan-awon pod namo ang tubig kung makaya pa ba or dili na ug dili na gyud mubalhin nami diraa sa taas kay kung mu anam na pod siya ug hinay mubalhin na pod me diri padulong sa balay (We observe the river; if its level is still okay and if not, we will rush to higher ground, and if water subsides, then we will return near our homes),” She said.

Davao City Councilor Luna Maria Dominique Acosta authored the 2022 City Ordinance 0246-23 series of 2023, signed into law by Mayor Sebastian Duterte on August 29, 2023. Effective October 5, 2023, the ordinance imposes fines on residents disobeying the preemptive evacuation system.

According to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) weather update at 3:15 p.m., some portions of Paquibato, Talomo, Toril, and Tugbok District may experience light to moderate rainfall, while the rest of Davao will have cloudy skies and scattered rain showers. 

The major rivers in the city are being monitored, with the Davao River at code yellow, Bunawan River at code yellow, Lasang River at code orange, and Talomo, Matina, and Lipadas Rivers at code green. RGP

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