Floodwaters won’t ease for 300,000 in LagunaBy Romulo O. Ponte
Inquirer Southern Luzon
STA. CRUZ, Laguna—More than 300,000 people languish in evacuation centers and flooded homes a month after monsoon rains inundated hundreds of villages and raised water levels in a lake in the province of Laguna, a government welfare agency said in a report.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), in a report on flood victims in Laguna, said 323,608 individuals are still living in evacuation centers and homes that are submerged in floodwaters a month after monsoon rains pummeled the province.
The floodwaters are becoming stagnant and are starting to smell bad, the DSWD report said.
The flood victims are from 165 villages in the province’s 19 towns and cities that are still flooded, said the report released by Ernesto M. Montecillo, the province’s social welfare and development officer.
The report listed eight casualties in the flooding. Seven of them were identified as 3-year-old Christian Curiano of Biñan City, 2-year-old Lawrence Ryan Curiano of Cabuyao City, Edwin Ramos of Pila town, Alberto Madarang Sr., 83, and Christian Jay Bellista, 17, both of Calamba City; Ernesto Flores of Alaminos town; and Teodoro Flores of San Pablo City.
The eighth casualty remains unidentified but the report said the person was from Siniloan town.
The report said 224 evacuation centers continue to be occupied by villagers displaced by floods that were worsened by rising water level at Laguna lake. At least 81,185 individuals are in the shelters.
The villages that remain flooded are in the cities of Biñan, Sta. Rosa, Calamba, Cabuyao; and the towns of San Pedro, Calauan, Victoria, Bay, Los Baños, Famy, Lumban, Mabitac, Paete, Pakil, Pangil, Pila, Siniloan, Sta. Cruz and Sta. Maria.
In Sta. Cruz, boats have become the main mode of transportation as a large part of the province’s capital town is still submerged in flood.
The provincial office of DSWD was not spared from the flooding. Ankle-deep floodwaters have not receded in the area where the office is located.
The public market of Sta. Cruz is completely submerged in floodwaters, forcing officials to build a temporary market at a park near the town hall and the Our Lady of the Immaculate parish church.