Cop, 5 others killed in Negros floods
BAYAWAN, Negros Oriental—The death toll from the flooding in this city has risen to six as relief operations continue for the 11,000 people affected by the floods caused by torrential rains.
Aside from policeman Rodelyn Gonzaga, who is reported to have lost his life while helping in rescue operations, the other fatalities have been identified as Tanorio Bacorio, Ronald Gargarian, Puriciano Sedo, Maricel Bordago and Shirley Tombrador, all residents of Bayawan.
All those previously reported missing have been found alive, officials said.
The flooding, said to be the worst in the history of Bayawan, has affected 1,901 families, or 11,408 individuals. The affected barangays (villages) are Tinago, Nangka, Ubos and Poblacion.
The flooding also affected the agriculture and fisheries sectors of the entire Negros island, officials said.
Bayawan Mayor Gerry Sarana said several hectares of corn and rice crops were destroyed. The rice mills cannot sell their rice stocks as these have become wet from the floods, Sarana said.
Fifteen small fishing boats were destroyed as was a three-ton fishing vessel.
The mayor could not give an estimate of the damage which, he said, would be determined at a meeting on Thursday of the city’s disaster council.
In Negros Occidental, the damage to crops, livestock and fisheries from the weekend flooding has reached more than P37.2 million, according to partial reports received by the provincial agriculture office on Monday.
Provincial agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan said the flooding affected 2,422 hectares of palay in the cities of Himamaylan, Kabankalan and Sipalay and the towns of Hinigaran, Moises Padilla, Isabela, Cauayan, Ilog, Candoni and Hinobaan. The damage to rice fields reached more than P36.5 million.
The damage to the fishponds of Sipalay, Kabankalan and Binalbagan in Negros Occidental was estimated at P314,285.
Provincial veterinarian Renante Decena also reported P402,100 worth of damage to poultry and livestock in Kabankalan, Cauayan, Ilog, Hinoba-an, Hinigaran, Isabela, Moises Padilla, La Castellana and Himamaylan.
The heavy rains also triggered landslides that destroyed four houses and damaged another in Igbaras, Iloilo.
No casualties were reported in the series of landslides that started on Sunday and continued until Tuesday in three villages of Igbaras, 39 kilometers southwest of Bayawan, according to reports reaching the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Tuesday.
Engineer Jose Vicente Tacdoro, the alternate municipal civil defense officer, said the landslides occurred in Barangays Pasong, Cale and Bocolod.
Three houses were destroyed and another was damaged in Pasong while one house was destroyed in Cale, Tacdoro said.
The landslides covered about 10 hectares and displaced at least 11 families, or 53 people, according to the municipal social welfare and development office. The displaced families are temporarily housed in the barangay hall.
The landslides were triggered by heavy rains in upland areas since Sunday, Tacdoro said.
The affected villages, about 7 km from the town proper, are difficult to reach by motor vehicle.—Carmel Loise Matus, with reports from Carla Gomez and Nestor Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas
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