2 dead, thousands flee floods in the Visayas
BACOLOD CITY – Two men died while at least 16,323 families, consisting of 81,615 individuals, were evacuated as flood waters rose in some areas in the Visayas due to non-stop rains spawned by the tail of the frontal system last Friday and Saturday.
Marvito Yap Lumanog, 43, was found dead inside his house in Barangay Guimbalaon of Silay City, Negros Occidental province, after floodwaters subsided on Saturday. Another fatality, Ulyses Escamilla, 50, was found floating in the Minuluan River in Barangay Zone 11, Talisay City, also in Negros Occidental, on Sunday.
Local authorities said 15,200 families, consisting of 76,000 individuals, were evacuated in Negros Occidental last Friday.
Many of the evacuees returned to their respective homes on Sunday but those who lost their houses because of the flood remained at the evacuation centers or with their relatives. The flood destroyed 62 houses and damaged 404 others in the province.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson stressed the need for a serious maintenance work on waterways to mitigate flooding, noting that many water tributaries have been covered with concrete structures.
“In all our efforts towards progress, we must demonstrate that economic growth and protection of the environment can go together and not be in conflict with each other,” he said.
Lacson said improper waste disposal also aggravated the flood situation, with garbage clogging waterways.
“This is another wake up call for everyone to adhere to proper waste disposal, otherwise, this flooding will happen repeatedly,” he said.
The Department of Public Works and Highways began dredging clogged waterways in flood-hit Victorias City late last week. On Saturday, the provincial government dredger arrived in Talisay City.
On New Yea’s day, the cities of Silay, Victorias and Talisay were among the localities in Negros Occidental that were hit by severe flooding due to incessant heavy rains and high tide.
In Eastern Visayas, heavy rains on Friday and Saturday forced several local government units to suspend work.
A number of areas in Tacloban City, the regional capital, were severely flooded. A chapel located at the top of a hill at the Regina Heights Subdivision in Barangay 91 of the city also collapsed due to the continued rain.
In Biliran province, Gov. Rogelio Espina also suspended work at the provincial capitol due to the flood spawned by heavy rain.
In the town of Caibiran, also in Biliran, classes and work were suspended by Mayor Rhodessa Delantar to avoid any untoward incidents.
Flooding and landslides were also reported in the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar with the level of water reaching up to four meters.
In the town of Arteche, Eastern Samar, 1,102 families consisting of 4,534 individuals from its nine coastal villages were evacuated to safer grounds due to the flood, Mayor Roland Boei Evardone said.
In the town of Catarman, Northern Samar, 21 families composed of 94 individuals from the villages of Yakal, Baybay, and Dalakit were also brought to the evacuation centers. INQ
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