2 barges crash into Tondo slum community; over 100 families homeless
MANILA, Philippines – Over a hundred families were left homeless after two empty barges that drifted off a pier rammed their makeshift houses nestled along the coastline of the Manila Bay at the height of strong winds and rains brought by typhoon “Gener” shortly before midnight Sunday, its village chief said Monday.
Chairman Luisito Reyes of Barangay (village) Happyland said the barges smashed into 40 wooden shanties on stilts along Sitio Capulong in Tondo, Manila.
Reyes said the barges anchors broke off “probably due to the strong waves” whipped up by Gener.
“Due this [the accident] some of the houses were partially damaged, while others were completely destroyed,” the village chief said.
The makeshift houses were home to roughly 138 families, he added.
No one was hurt, Reyes said, because residents have left before the barges crashed into their homes.
“They evacuated from their houses to safety,” Reyes said, but added that small fishing boats owned by some residents for their livelihood were also destroyed.
Commander Gregorio Adel of Philippine Coast Guard-Manila said the two barges bore the markings Asian Shipping Corporation-201 and Asian Shipping Corporation-205.
“As of the moment, no coordination between the local government and the owners has taken place,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim distributed earlier Monday relief goods and financial assistance to affected residents who are now temporarily staying at the Baseco covered court and a chapel, Manila Social Welfare Department director Jay de la Fuente said.
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