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Waves as big as houses displace 357 families in Davao City coastal villages

/ 07:14 PM August 03, 2019

DAVAO CITY—At least  50 houses were destroyed and 98 took severe damage when waves as big as the structures themselves, whipped up by the southwest monsoon, slammed into the coast of this city on Saturday (Aug. 3).

Alfredo Baloran, city disaster mitigation official, said 51 houses were wrecked while 98 suffered heavy damage after these were battered by the waves which came with a rising tide.

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At least 357 families in eight villages were displaced or had to be moved out.

The city’s disaster mitigating office said rescuers evacuated families to shelters, like village halls or gymnasiums. Others stayed with relatives far from the coast line.

Baloran said there were no injuries reported, attributing this to heightened preparedness.

The monsoon waves, according to Baloran, occur yearly, from August to October and the city disaster mitigating office had already warned people in coastal villages to be prepared last month.

Baloran, however, expressed concern that some families had returned to their coastal homes by noon as the threat of waves has not ebbed.

“We have told residents not to return to the coasts as we are still expecting strong waves but we can’t force them to do so,” Baloran said. The next best thing to do, he added, was to keep first responders on standby.

Rodrigo Bustillo, city disaster mitigating officer in charge of operations, said officials were still expecting strong waves in the evening of Saturday.

Baloran said a permanent solution to stop the waves from crashing onto the shoreline and destroying homes was to build a costal road although this would permanently displace families.

“Eventually, they will have no choice but to be relocated,” Baloran said./tsb

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TAGS: coastal, Davao City, disaster, preparedness, shelters, Southwest Monsoon, waves
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