Roxas City, 3 Capiz towns cut off from water source as silt sets into Panay RiverBy Felipe Celino, Joey Gabieta and Nestor Burgos Jr.
MANILA, Philippines — The residents of Roxas City and three nearby municipalities have difficulty getting their potable water requirement as the water from Panay River, the only water source, has been contaminated with silt.
Glen Delgado, Metro Roxas Water District (MRWD) general manager, explained that treating the polluted water could damage the treatment plant.
The MWRD has stopped supplying water to its 20,000 service connections in Roxas City and the towns of Panay, Panitan and Ivisan since Thursday afternoon.
The MWRD water treatment plant has a capacity to treat 30,000 cubic meter daily and was inaugurated on August 2007.
Delgado said MWRD chemists and engineers have been exerting efforts to find ways on how to treat the contaminated water that resulted from floodwaters caused by typhoon Quinta.
The death toll, according to local authorities, has reached 17, five in Eastern Visayas and 12 in Western Visayas, although the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council put the fatality rate from Quinta at “at least 11.”
In Eastern Visayas, those confirmed dead were Julio Silvano of Merida, Leyte and Joliver Casipung of Borongan, Eastern Samar, both were fishermen earlier reported as missing. The other three fatalities are Rodrigo Busa (not Bursa as earlier reported), his wife Rosita and their son Kenjie of Maydolong, Eastern Samar.
The Regional Disaster Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) in Region 6 and the provincial disaster and risk reduction management councils (PDRRMC) reported that 12 persons died, nine of them in Iloilo, two in Aklan and one in Capiz.
However, Capiz PDRRMC action officer Esperidion Pelaez said two persons died due to drowning in Capiz – Christian Olivar of Dumalag town and Jonaire Deretso of Bingawan, Iloilo. Five were also reported missing in Region 6.
A total of 119 barangays (villages) in Capiz and some areas in Passi City and 22 of Iloilo’s 42 towns were flooded by rains spawned by Quinta.
Rosario Cabrera, Office of Civil Defense Western Visayas director and RDRRMC chair, said the towns of Pontevedra, Panit-an and Pan-ay in Capiz remained flooded as of Friday.
The RDRRMC reported that 18,604 families or 85,829 persons in Western Visayas experienced varying levels of flooding. Around 13,445 persons were evacuated.
On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture in Eastern Visayas (DA-8) reported that 979 farmers from various towns in Leyte were affected when 2,115 hectares of rice fields were flooded and damaged 1,627.75 metric tons of palay valued at P8.23 million.
While in Iloilo, the losses to agriculture reached 11,394 metric tons of rice valued at P159.1 million.
The flash floods have been attributed to a combination of monsoon rains enhanced by the typhoon and the siltation of rivers which overflowed from the mountainous areas flowed to low-lying areas in central Iloilo and those along river basins.
Leo Van Juguan, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the hardest-hit areas were mostly those earlier identified as flooding-prone.
“There is a need to dredge river systems and to enhance flood preparations in the flood-prone areas,” Juguan told the INQUIRER.
The RDRRMC of Western Visayas has also asked President Aquino to include Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo in areas placed under a national calamity.
The President on Dec. 8 issue Proclamation 522 declaring a state of national calamity in the wake destruction caused by typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao, Central Visayas and Palawan.
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