Barges ram houses;‘Gener’ displaces 138 familiesBy Jamie Marie Elona
A total of 138 families in Tondo, Manila, were left homeless after two barges rammed their shanties due to strong waves spawned by typhoon “Gener” shortly before midnight on Sunday.
Barangay Happyland chair Luisito Reyes said that 40 houses built on stilts along the shoreline of Manila Bay in Sitio Capulong were destroyed after strong waves loosened the anchors which were holding the vessels in place, allowing them to drift toward the area.
Commodore Gregorio Adel of the Philippine Coast Guard-Manila identified the barges as ASC-201 and ASC-205, both owned by Asian Shipping Corp.
He added that the owner of the barge has yet to coordinate with the city government regarding the incident.
According to Adel, although “anchors are designed by architects to hold a vessel [in place],” the waves on Sunday night were “really strong.”
Reyes told the Inquirer that the barges destroyed some of the houses and damaged the rest, leaving 138 families homeless.
It also wrecked small fishing boats owned by some of the families in the area.
Fortunately, none of the residents was hurt because they were warned beforehand about the danger risked by the barges which were anchored offshore.
“They were evacuated from their houses to safety,” Reyes said.
Following the incident, Mayor Alfredo Lim on Monday distributed relief goods and financial assistance to the affected residents who are temporarily staying at the Baseco covered court and a nearby chapel, according to Manila social welfare department director Jay dela Fuente.
Meanwhile, heavy rains loosened the soil around a fir tree in San Mateo, Rizal Monday morning, causing it to fall on four houses in the area.
As a result, six families were left homeless although no one was reported hurt.
Armand Perez, closed circuit television and radio operator of the San Mateo Command Center, told the Inquirer over the phone that the accident happened at 8:12 a.m. on General Luna Street in Barangay Banaba.
The fir tree, he said, measured at least five feet tall. When it fell, it destroyed the houses which were all made of light materials.
The Bureau of Fire Protection which responded to the incident said that the six affected families were taken to nearby evacuation centers.
Perez said that at press time, the area had already
been cleared of debris. With a report from Kristine Felisse Mangunay