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‘HABAGAT’ IMPACT

Family escapes wrath of ‘Yolanda’ but not monsoon rains in Ilocos Sur

05:16 AM August 22, 2018

ROAD CRACKS Landslides triggered by heavy rains destroy a section of a road at Barangay Amguid, Candon City. LEONCIO BALBIN JR.

CANDON CITY—Florenda Marilao and her family relocated to Barangay Amguid in this Ilocos Sur city, after surviving Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) that ravaged Ormoc City in November 2013.

So Marilao was shocked when they lost their new house to a landslide that was triggered by monsoon rains this month. The house was dragged along with 40 other structures on a mountaintop in Amguid.

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Candon was placed under a state of calamity on Aug. 15 following the series of landslides and ground erosion along Zone 2 in Amguid. Families began noticing cracks on their houses and roads on Aug. 11, forcing them to leave the area.

Zone 2 had been described as an area with “high landslide susceptibility,” according to the geohazard and geological assessment report of Socrates Gaerlan of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the Ilocos region.

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Danger zone

Like most towns and provinces in northern Luzon, Candon experienced heavy rains due to “habagat” (southwest monsoon) that was enhanced by Tropical Storm “Karding.”

The report said the higher sections of Amguid began to erode with “a high degree of acceleration … due to excessive infiltration of water especially during [the storm].”

Marilao said she could no longer return to their house, which is now in a 75-hectare danger zone. “We never thought we would suffer another tragedy at our new home after we survived Supertyphoon Yolanda,” she said.

The Candon government said it was buying land, also in Amguid, where the displaced families would be relocated, according to Mayor Ericson Singson on Monday.

Savings

The proposed 1.4-hectare site was presented to government geologists last week. It would accommodate 51 families, including those who were being urged to abandon their homes within the danger zone, said Barangay Amguid chair, Herminigildo del Rosario.

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Del Rosario also lost his three-story house which he and his wife put up using their savings from more than two decades of work abroad. His family was forced to stay with his brother in a neighboring village.

The biggest erosion occurred at dawn on Aug. 13, damaging houses as well as the water reservoir and main pipeline of the Candon Water District. —LEONCIO BALBIN JR., CONTRIBUTOR

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