No permanent relocation plan yet for 40 families affected by fallen tree in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Forty families remain at a temporary shelter on Friday after a big tree fell on houses and blocked their passageway in Estero De Magdalena, the Manila City government said.
Clearing operations continue following the tree’s collapse around midnight on Thursday, damaging the houses of eight families and making the lane in Estero De Magdalena impassable to the other families in the community. The fallen tree also killed two people – a two-year-old boy and 42-year-old Edcel Lansiola, and injured several others.
Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna said in an interview posted on the official Facebook page of the Manila Public Information Office that the families will stay at an evacuation center “until such time na permanently mare-relocate po sila sa Cavite (that they are permanently located in Cavite).”
According to Lacuna, the responsibility to relocate the community to Cavite lies with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) but this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor said she has yet to receive an update on the status of the families’ relocation.
“Nagf-follow up po kami, wala pa rin po kaming nakukuhang tiyak na kasagutan,” she said.’
(We have been following up, but we still have not obtained a definitive answer.)
INQUIRER.net on Friday sought updates from both the mayor and DENR regarding families’ relocation, but has yet to receive a response as of writing.
Lacuna’s spokesperson Atty. Princess Abante, however, confirmed on Friday morning that the 40 families have been evacuated to the Delpan Evacuation Center in Barangay San Nicolas.
“’Yung talagang apektado, walo. Kaya lang, apektado po silang lahat around 40 families kasi wala na silang madaanan dito. Vina-validate pa talaga po namin ngayon kasi definitely hindi po sila makakadaan diyan. Kung makikita ninyo, ang lagusan po nila o ‘yung daanan nila ay nasa ilalim,” Abante disclosed.
(Those who are really affected, eight. But around 40 families are all affected because they have nowhere to pass through here. We are still validating it now because they definitely can’t go through there. If you can see, their pathway or their passage is underneath.)
She added that the residents should not return to their community since it has been tagged a “danger zone.”
Initial inspection led by the Manila Department of Social Welfare and Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) found that the tree collapsed due to “the weight of the tree, which can no longer be supported by the old structure.”
“Hindi na po talaga safe na balikan po nila yaan. Nakikita naman po, napaka-old na po talaga ‘yung structure eh. Kahit po ‘yung pader na ‘yan may mga crack po ‘yan sa likuran eh, so may time po pu-puwede rin po ‘yang bumigay kagaya po nung nangyari,” Lacuna stressed.
(It’s not really safe for them to go back there. As you can see, the structure is really very old. Even that wall has cracks in the back, so there’s a possibility that it will also give in like what happened.)