State of calamity in flood-hit Palawan town to last 6 months
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The town of Brooke’s Point in Palawan province lost about P103 million in crops and public infrastructure as floods ravaged farms and communities recently, prompting local officials to extend the monthlong state of calamity, declared last December, to six months.
The municipal agriculture office, in its report released on Tuesday, said heavy rains triggered by a low pressure area that lasted for four days triggered floods that hit 16 of Brooke’s Point’s 18 barangays.
Municipal agriculturist Renato Bacosa said most affected were high-value crops, like fruits and vegetables, in Barangay Imulnod with losses reaching around P30.117 million. The village’s ricefields also took a hit with P26.739 million in losses.
“Imulnod was one of the hardest-hit barangays where a hanging bridge collapsed, leaving residents unable to bring their products to market,” Bacosa said in his report.
Damage to coconut plantations was placed at P3.726 million; livestock and poultry, P2.073 million; corn, P1.335 million; and fish catch and fishpond products, P1.031 million.
On Wednesday, the town’s engineering office updated its damage assessment on roads and bridges from at least P28.556 million recorded last week to P37.806 million. Thousands of families were also evacuated with some losing their homes to the widespread flooding.
A Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office report said 87 houses were destroyed while 43 were damaged.
“We need to extend the period of calamity because of the severe impact of the floods,” said Mayor Cesareo Benedito Jr. on Tuesday.
On high alert
Benedito said the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) decided to extend the coverage of the calamity declaration and this was approved by the town council through a resolution issued later in the day.
The MDRRMO was again on high alert for possible rise of water level in rivers Tuesday, especially in Barangay Imulnod where the water level rose because of another downpour.
“Residents, particularly students who were on their way home, got scared of crossing the river so we sent a truck to fetch them,” MDRRMO officer in charge Joey Herredero said in a phone interview.
He said a detour bridge was built in Cabinbin after a hanging bridge was destroyed so residents can cross the river.
“A section of the detour collapsed (Monday) because the water level rose and is now being repaired,” he said.
MDRRMO personnel were preparing relief goods that would be distributed in different villages.
Herredero said most of the evacuees had returned home, except those at Sitio Tagusao Shore in Barangay Barong-Barong where 38 families remained in the evacuation center because their houses were damaged by floods.
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