Bantayan town to bar settlers in coastal areas | Inquirer News

Bantayan town to bar settlers in coastal areas

/ 07:57 AM December 11, 2013

The Bantayan municipal government won’t allow settlers to build homes near the coast to spare them from storm surges caused by typhoons.

Vince Escario, spokesman of Bantayan Mayor Chris Escario, said a storm surge occurred when supertyphoon Yolanda hit Bantayan Nov. 8 but they were lucky that it was low tide at the time.

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If it had been high tide, Bantayan would have suffered the same devastation as that in Tacloban City.

Bantayan has started its clearing operations at the coastal areas.

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Escario said illegal settlers will be relocated. A day before the typhoon, town officials evacuated residents in coastal areas to the sports complex but some still opted to stay in their houses.

Escario said some people started to go out thinking that the storm was over but after 30 minutes, it rained again and this was followed by a storm surge.

Bantayan officials met with land owners to discuss where to relocate the illegal settlers.

Escario said some lots will be paid in cash while others will be paid in installment basis.

There were 21 reported casualties in Bantayan town during tehe storm.

Three drowned in the the storm surge.

Bantayan has 25 barangays and four are adopted by an organization.

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Escario said it will take six months to fully restore the town’s power supply.

Business establishments and stores are already open but their poultry industry bore the brunt of the typhoon’s wrath, reducing production by 60 percent.

Estimated damage runs to more than P4 billion.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7) said it would provide 3,000 motor bancas to registered fishermen hit by the typhoon in Bantayan Island and the rest of Central Visayas.

BFAR-7 Asst. Regional Director Allan Poquita told reporters that the agency will also provide seaweed seedlings to the fishermen.

He said they will also distribute 119,700 packs of relief goods to the 13 storm-affected towns in northern Cebu.

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