MANILA, Philippines—Parts of Zamboanga Peninsula including Zamboanga City were declared under a state of calamity Tuesday due to rains spawned by southwest monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Lawin.
“The city council last night approved the City Reduction and Management Council’s recommendation to declare Zamboanga City under state of calamity,” said Shiela Covarrubios, public information officer of Zamboanga City local government.
The towns of Siocon and Sirawai in Zamboanga del Norte were also declared under a state of calamity, said Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director for Zamboanga Peninsula Adriano Fuego.
Ms. Covarrubios explained that placing Zamboanga City under a state of calamity “allows the city to use calamity funds to repair/rehabilitate infrastructures destroyed by floods and implement other steps to aid those affected.”
Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat said the calamity funds were needed to provide assistance to close to 9,000 flood victims.
Some of the money will be used to repair damaged infrastructure, he said.
Classes in at least 10 elementary schools and four high schools in the villages of Vitali, Tictapul, Tugbungan, Divisoria, Labuan, San Jose Gusu, Baliwasan, Patalon and Mangusu had to be suspended due to the flooding.
As of the latest report, Covarrubios said 17 barangays (villages) were affected in Zamboanga City.
Reports from OCD Region 9 said there were more than 700 families affected in Siocon and Sirawai towns.
At least 40 houses were washed out by the floods in the villages of Bucana, Makiang, Reconalla and Tamayo, said Captain Alberto Caber of the Army’s First Infantry Division.—With a report from Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao