Floods worsen quake woes in BoholBy Carmel Loise Matus
CORTES, BOHOL—“Not another disaster.”
Dioscora Tabige, 57, expressed this exasperation, which may as well be what the people of this town and province feel.
Tabige’s family, and several others in this town, fled to higher ground when the Abatan River overflowed as a result of relentless rains brought by Tropical Depression “Wilma.”
“We just experienced an earthquake, now it’s the flooding. What are we going to do?” Tabige said.
Tabige, her husband, six children and a sister, 59-year-old Teotima Apog, fled to a hill after waters reached 10-feet deep on Monday.
Apog told the Inquirer the family was about to have dinner on Monday night when they heard the roar of water rushing toward the town.
“We saw our food floating on the water,” Apog said.
Tabige cried as she recalled the fear that gripped her as she and her family fled. “Where would we live now?” she said.
Tabige’s house was one of those that were damaged as a result of the 7.2-magnitude quake that struck Bohol on Oct. 15. A computer, mattresses and kitchen appliances were destroyed.
She said Monday’s flooding was not the first to hit the town. Last week, knee-deep floods came when the town’s rice fields could no longer hold the water, sending it rushing to the town.
Monday’s floods were the worst, however, according to Tabige.
Sergio Coquilla, resident of another village, Loreto, said his family had to flee to a hill, too.
Coquilla said Monday’s floods were also the worst he had seen. “It overflowed to the road,” he said.
The flood, he said, may have been worsened by a collapsed bridge that blocked the flow of water.
A hanging bridge connecting the villages of Loreto and Tupas in another town, Antequera, was destroyed.
The Cortes municipal disaster office said at least 24 houses and several rice fields in another village, Rosario, suffered damage.
Alfonso Damalerio, Bohol provincial administrator, said authorities were still assessing the extent of the flood damage.
The flood also destroyed a bridge in the village of Baan in Catigbian town.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Central Visayas reiterated an advisory to areas that are prone to landslides and flooding.
Eddie Llamedo, spokesperson of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the region, said local governments in areas worst hit by the quake should resort to “proactive evacuation.”
These are Tagbilaran City and the towns of Baclayon, Corella, Cortes, Alburquerque, Panglao, Dauis, Loon, Calape, Catigbian, Balilihan, Batuan, Sagbayan and Carmen.
Isabelo Montejo, Central Visayas DENR director, said authorities should keep people out of areas prone to landslides and flooding.
“It is very important that mayors and barangay captains pay attention to critical areas found highly vulnerable to flooding and landslides, which have been known to them and indicated in the geohazard threat advisory issued them,” Montejo said.