4,000 still in Laguna flood sheltersBy Romulo O. Ponte |Southern Luzon Bureau
STA. CRUZ, Laguna—The massive floods that covered a large part of Laguna in August have receded but many residents in the affected areas are still to see dry land, according to the Provincial Disaster Risks Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC).
Jen Sorel S. Jasareno, chief of the Laguna PDRRMC, told Inquirer on Wednesday that although floods in 19 municipalities and cities in Laguna have receded, floods linger in villages that are close to Laguna Lake.
Occasional downpours and recent storms prolong the flooding in parts of the province, he said.
In the capital town of Sta. Cruz, floods receded in the public market, which was under water for three months, but four shoreline villages are still submerged in flood waters.
A disaster report prepared by the Sta. Cruz Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office said more than 4,000 people still live in 16 evacuation centers because their homes are still under water.
The evacuees are from the lakeshore villages of San Pablo Norte, Santisima, Sto. Anghel Norte and Green.
The Inquirer visited areas in the towns of Pagsanjan, Lumban, Kalayaan, Paete, Pakil, Pangil and Siniloan and saw large tracts of rice fields and agricultural land that are still flooded.
Couple Melvin and Elena Cortez, who live with their five children near the banks of Ilog Putol River in the boundary of Siniloan and Pangil towns, told Inquirer that before Tropical Storm “Ofel” came on Oct. 25, the floods have already receded.
The couple said they were ready to prepare their farm for planting but Ofel struck and brought floods again.