Initial damage to calamity reaches P18 million — Celso PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 October 2012 14:00

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday said initial estimated cost of damage due to the recent incessant rains and strong winds that caused massive flooding, huge waves and landslide reached P18 million.

Lobregat however said, assessment and validation of damage to properties continue and that the amount is expected to rise.

Of the total P18 million, P5 million is based on the initial assessment by the City Engineer’s Office on infrastructures such as slope protection, rip rap and road projects while P13 million is based on the initial assessment by the City Agriculturist’s Office on damage to crops, fishponds and seaweeds.

Mayor Lobregat said the rehabilitation and repair of the affected infrastructures have been ordered as soon as the declaration of the state of calamity in Zamboanga City that authorized the use of calamity funds to address the needs of the constituents following the calamity.

Zamboanga City was battered by incessant rains and strong winds spawned by monsoon rains and induced by typhoon “Lawin” last weekend causing massive flooding in low lying areas and huge waves that destroyed houses and other properties in coastal areas.

Reports of landslide and liquefaction incidents were also registered in some barangays.

A 5-year old boy was killed in Labuan when he was hit by a tree that uprooted due to strong winds.

As of September 27, the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) reported a total of 1,944 families with 5,850 dependents displaced in at least 24 barangays, mostly low lying areas. A total of 53 houses were totally damaged while 176 other dwellings were partially damaged either due to gushing waters, huge waves, landslide or liquefaction.

The City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat reported that some 1,120 hectares of farm lands were inundated by the floods—of which 1,000 hectares were fishponds, 84 hectares rice lands, 21 hectares vegetable farmlands and 15 hectares corn lands.

Huge waves also destroyed 55 hectares of seaweeds plantation along the coastal barangays, according to Palacat.

Mayor Lobregat has ordered all concerned agencies to take immediate and appropriate measures to address the needs of the constituents affected by flooding and other related incidents caused by the 4-day continuous rains and strong winds in the city last week.

The City Council on Sept. 24 unanimously approved a resolution declaring Zamboanga City in a state of calamity based on recommendations of the Lobregat-led City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council citing widespread destruction of fishponds and agricultural products and disruption of lifelines such as electricity and potable water system. — Sheila Covarrubias