Auring wrath: Tandag mayor seeks calamity declaration after worst flooding in city's history

Auring wrath: Tandag mayor seeks calamity declaration after worst flooding in city's history

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Roxanne Cabrera-Pimentel, of Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, said she would ask the city council to declare a state of calamity in the city following severe flooding that displaced thousands of people and wrought damage estimated at P60 million on rice farms alone.

She said while the city government was still making an inventory of the damage, reports from the villages said at least 1,200 hectares of rice fields had been flooded and are still is.

Damage on rice lands, she said in a phone interview, could reach P60 million. “Of course there is a need to declare a state of calamity,” she said. She said she would bring it before the city council when it meets on Tuesday (Feb. 23).

On Monday (Feb. 22) the rains stopped and the sun shone in the city that suffered its worst flooding in local history after days of rains triggered by Tropical Storm Auring.

Pimentel said at least five houses were destroyed and 15 suffered damages. She added that she was still to meet with officials of upland villages to know the extend of damage in those areas.

As of 3 p.m. on Monday, at least 3,200 evacuees had sought shelter in city government facilities. Others had gone to relatives’ houses.

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) of Caraga reported a total of 28,178 families or 109,430 individuals displaced by the flooding that swept across 302 villages in the region with more than half being in Surigao del Sur.

Of 302 villages that had been flooded, 161 were in Surigao del Sur; 93, Surigao del Norte, 22, Dinagat Island; 13, Agusan del Norte; 7, Agusan del Sur and 6, Butuan City.

A report said 12,745 families (or 49,800 persons) were in 325 evacuation centers in different parts of the region while the rest had taken refuge in houses of relatives.

Pimentel, however, said most of the roads that were closed at the height of the flooding on Sunday have finally been opened.

The portion of Nurcia village in Lanuza town, where another landslide occurred, has finally been cleared on Monday, opening the highway to motorists.