Rains destroy P7M city infra PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 10:58

Some P7 million worth of city infrastructure projects to include riprap and roads were damaged due to floods spawned by continuous rains and strong winds since Friday until Sunday.

An estimated 88 hectares of farms and fishponds were also inundated by heavy rains bringing the cost of damage to overP467,000. The figures however are still subject for validation after the water will subside.

As this developed, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) headed by Mayor Beng Climaco in a meeting Monday afternoon approved series of recommendations intended to help alleviate the plight of the  victims of weather-related incidents as well as to immediately repair the damages to infrastructures.

City Engineer Luis Despalo said that rip rap facilities collapsed due to the heavy volume of water in Tugbungan Barigon, Royal Lane in Tugbungan, Putik, Manicahan Poso. Several linear meters of road were also destroyed due to erosion in Curuan. Minor damages were also reported in other city infrastructures in several other areas.

Despalo estimated the cost of damage to P7 million and that at approximately P10 million is needed for the repair.

On the other hand, City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat reported that 31.8 hectares of farms planted with rice, corn and assorted vegetables and another 57 hectares of fishponds were inundated by the continuous rains and strong winds.

According to Palacat, the areas affected included barangays under the districts of Tumaga, Ayala, Culianan, Manicahan and Curuan.

The  CDRRMC recommendations included the putting up of a permanent evacuation center in Tugbungan in District II and another one in District 1; personnel from the City Social Welfare to coordinate with the City Health Office on the intake of patients in evacuation centers; CHO through Dr. Rodel Agbulos to coordinate with other agencies to prevent the spread of diseases due to flooding; the City Agriculturist Office to provide final listing of inundated crops and fisheries and its total cost; City Engineer’s Office to list down all affected areas and to come up with cost and estimates for immediate funding of said projects and for the DEPED and CHO to pull efforts to prevent the spread of dengue fever cases in the DON Gregorio Memorial School community where samples of water taken were said to be positive of dengue carrier mosquitoes.

The CDRRMC likewise tasked the City Environment and natural Resources Office to inspect all quarrying sites and activities in both east and west coasts of the city as quarrying as well as forest denudation were said to be among the causes of the flooding in low lying areas; for the Coast Guard to declare sea worthiness of vessels; for OCENR to inspect and check on the ownership and cause the removal of illegal fishponds and fishpens along the Tumaga area.

Concerned agencies were also tasked to submit the list of logistical requirements for disaster response and that the baragays were asked to submit report on the utilization of Barangay disaster risk reduction funds.

Discussions also focused on the report of Dr. Agbulos and Councilor Jawo Jimenez who were tasked to study the kind of equipment to be purchased for rescue and relief operations during calamities.

The 3-day continuous rains have placed the CDRRMC on heightened alert for calamity prevention during weekend. Early yesterday morning, the chief executive upon coordination with the Department of Education and the barangay councils declared suspension of classes in areas hardest hit by weather-related incidents and where schools were used as evacuation centers.

However, in schools where no suspension of classes has been declared, Mayor Climaco said school officials should give consideration to students as well as teachers have fallen victims of the weather-related calamity.

Victims temporarily sheltered in evacuation centers at the height of the flooding and or landslides last weekend were given relief assistance by the City government through the city Social Welfare and Development under Evelyn Las Marias including staff of Mayor Climaco and other concerned individuals and some city officials.

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., designated as incident coordinator based in City Hall coordinated efforts between and among the CDRRMC member-agencies and volunteers.

As of yesterday afternoon, the CSWDO, after assessment and validation, reported that 354 families with 1,066 dependents were affected by flashfloods and landslides and other weather-related incidents. Areas affected with evacuees were Tetuan, Tugbungan, Divisoria, Limpapa, Patalon and Manicahan. Several other barangays experienced increased water level but no evacuations were reported. Two children were killed when their house was buried in a landslide in Limpapa Saturday morning.

Mayor Climaco expressed gratitude to all the agencies and individuals volunteered and offered their services as well as resources to help the CDRRMC during the rescue, retrieval and relief operations.

Present during the meeting at the city Hall conference room yesterday afternoon were Councilors Jimenez, Eddie Saavedra, Myra Paz Abubakar, City Administrator Orendain, DILG City director Atty. Taha Arakama, City Police OIC Chief PSSupt. Jose Chiquito Malayo, department heads, representatives from Task force Zamboanga, Coast Guard, Navy, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), radio groups, Red Cross Zamboanga chapter, business sector and other concerned agencies. — Sheila Covarrubias