Financial aid, relocation for TS Agaton victims

By Rosalie O. Abatayo |January 03,2018 - 11:30 PM

Seven towns and two cities in southern Cebu have been identified by the provincial government as badly hit by Tropical Storm Agaton.

“We have given support and cash assistance to the families of the casualties, which we visited today (January 3) with the governor (Hilario Davide III),” said Baltazar Tribunalo, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).

He also said they have distributed food packs to the evacuees in Barili and Boljoon which were also affected by the severe flooding.

“In Boljoon, we already identified a relocation site. We will be sending a geodetic engineer there to identify where the residents can safely build their houses,” said Tribunalo.

The 800 evacuees in Toledo City have already gone back to their homes, but five families are still displaced as their houses were totally destroyed by the flood.

“The families will be given P10,000 each from the LGU (Local Government Unit) of Toledo City as support for their emergency shelter and recovery,” said Tribunalo.

According to Tribunalo, the teams from PDRRMO have already started the clearing operations of the eroded soil and uprooted trees that blocked some of the provincial roads.

Agaton, the first weather disturbance to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) in 2018, made five landfalls, including Santander town , bringing heavy rains to the entire province and most of the Visayas.

Al Quiblat, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan chief, said the volume of rainfall reached 75.6 millimeters.

“For the month of January, the normal amount of rainfall is around 140 millimeters, so we already accumulated more than half within 24 hours,” said Quiblat.

The rainfall brought by Agaton induced flooding and landslide occurrences in seven towns and two cities in the province displacing 122 families or 618 individuals.

Flora Basadre, 63, and Richie John Pimentel, 39, died Tuesday dawn during a landslide and heavy rain in Malabuyoc town.

Each of Basadre and Pimentel’s families were given P10,000 aid from the provincial government.

As Agaton left the PAR at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the weather bureau said fair weather can be expected in the entire Cebu Province and most of the Visayas region.

Quiblat said that the tail-end of a cold front that was affecting the Visayas shifted up to the Luzon area and is less likely going to affect the Visayas in the next few days.

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