Flooding, landslides force evacuation of 1,600 people in Antique and Iloilo
ILOILO CITY — More than 1,600 individuals were evacuated over the weekend in three towns in Antique and a town in Iloilo due to flooding and landslides triggered by heavy and continuous rainfall.
In Iloilo, nearly 200 residents have evacuated as of Sunday from a hinterland village in Igbaras town due to a landslide that buried houses and farmlands.
No casualties were reported, but soil movement was still continuing at Barangay Igpigus, raising concerns of more landslides, said Igbaras Mayor Vicente Escorpion Jr., who visited the site and distribute relief goods on Sunday.
Igbaras is about 39 kilometers southwest of Iloilo City.
Escorpion said 17 houses were destroyed, including 12 that were covered by soil. Six others were damaged.
The landslide affected an estimated 30-hectare area, according to a report of the Office of Civil Defense in Western Visayas.
Fifty families, or 189 persons, had been evacuated with seven temporarily staying at the barangay hall,. while others were staying with relatives, said Escorpion.
The landslide took place around 1 a.m. on Saturday amid heavy rainfall.
Igpigus, 12 kilometers from the town proper, is among the villages identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as landslide prone.
Escorpion told the Inquirer that a kilometer-long crack in the soil was found last year in an inspection of the MGB.
He said the residents in the affected area need to be permanently relocated as a precaution.
In Antique, the capital town of San Jose and neighboring Hamtic town were placed under a state of calamity due to flooding and landslides, according to Broderick Train, executive officer of Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Train said the town of Sibalom could also be declared a calamity area early next week.
No casualties were reported in the province even as floodwater reached up to four feet high in low lying areas in San Jose, according to Train.
The evacuees included 193 families, or about 500 persons, in San Jose, 592 persons in Hamtic, and 403 persons in Sibalom. Most of them had returned to their homes by Sunday afternoon but relief operations continued.
Landslides were reported in Hamtic affecting seven households and with two houses damaged. /atm
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