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Calamity state in Zamboanga City

/ 11:17 PM September 25, 2012

VILLAGERS ride boats to reach a dry portion of a street in Zamboanga City. Boat operators charge P10 per passenger. JULIE S. ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

ZAMBOANGA CITY—A state of calamity has been declared in the city as floods left a trail of destruction that city officials are still assessing.

Mayor Celso Lobregat made the declaration with the backing of the city council on Tuesday.

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Lobregat said the declaration would help speed up the release of the city’s calamity fund that would be spent on aid for at least 9,000 flood victims.

Parts of the calamity fund would also be used to repair damaged infrastructure, he said.

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As of noon on Tuesday, flooding has not eased in many areas of the city.

Classes in at least 10 elementary schools and four high schools in the villages of Vitali, Tictapul, Tugbungan, Divisoria, Labuan, San Jose Gusu, Baliwasan, Patalon and Mangusu have been suspended.

In Vitali alone, considered the hardest-hit village, water level was up to 3-meters deep at the height of the floods that hit the city on Monday, Lobregat said.

What worsened the situation, Lobregat said, were at least four landslides that hit Barangay Lanzones and a water spout that hit Barangay Boalan.

A 5-year-old boy died in Patalon village and several other persons were injured at the height of the floods. Lobregat said the extent of destruction was still being assessed. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Calamity, Flood, Weather, Zamboanga City
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