ZAMBOANGA CITY — Four towns in Zamboanga del Norte had a declared state of calamity due to heavy damages brought about by Severe Tropical Storm Vinta, an official said Tuesday.
Praxides Rubia, the Zamboanga del Norte information chief, said the local governments of Siocon, Gutalac, Salug and Labason had declared a state of calamity after coming up with damage assessment reports last December 25.
“The towns of Sibuco, Baliguian, Sirawai, Liloy and the rest are still conducting damage assessment reports. As soon as they completed the assessment, we will submit all the towns’ reports to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Manager. We will call for a session in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and there, we will officially declare the entire province under state of calamity. So far, only four towns had declared a state of calamity,” Rubia said.
Zamboanga del Norte had 72 deaths from the floods spawned by the storm.
Rubia said most of the deaths were reported in Gutalac town.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the faithful to extend their assistance to the victims of tropical storms “Urduja” and “Vinta” in Visayas and Mindanao.
In an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas, the prelate appealed to the public’s generosity, especially during the Christmas season.
He noted that the celebration of the Christmas season is not complete if one would forget the plight of the victims of Urduja in Samar and Leyte, and Vinta in Mindanao.
“It is only right that we become channels of goodness for our brothers who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood,” Tagle said.
The prelate urged the faithful to help the victims of the two tropical storms by forwarding the aid to their diocese’s Caritas offices or social action centers.