800 Toledo City residents evacuated due to flooding, landslides

By Nestle Semilla, Rosalie Abatayo |January 01,2018 - 01:33 PM

CEBU CITY—Not one of them had the energy nor the enthusiasm to celebrate the New Year.

At least 800 residents from 16 villages in Toledo City, midwest Cebu, slept through the night in the evacuation centers as the rest of the world celebrated the arrival of the new year.

Neil Cabañero, Toledo’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) personnel, told the Inquirer on Monday that the 800 evacuees were too exhausted to celebrate the New Year after floods destroyed their homes on Sunday.

“They were not in the mood to celebrate the New Year. The evacuation centers were so quiet,” he told the Inquirer in a phone interview on Monday.

The floods were caused by heavy rains that started at 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, causing rivers to overflow by early evening and inundating the low-lying villages.

These were Barangays Caban-og, Daanglungsod, Captain Claudio, Sangi, Luray II, Poblacion, Ilihan, Tubod, Matab-ang, Talavera, Dumlog, Ibo,Carmen, Kabituonan, Bato, and Awihaw.

Landslide was also reported in Barangays Lamdahan and Matab-ang.

One person was reported hurt but the injuries were minor.

“There was nonstop rain that started from 2 p.m. up to past midnight of Jan. 1,” said Engr. Alexander Abella, DRRMO chief in Toledo, adding that floodwaters reached at least waist deep.

Abella said five of these 16 villages were near rivers which overflowed during the heavy rains.

The drainage system in most of the 16 villages was not also working well, said Abella.

“There was a possibility that the floodwaters would rise further if the rains didn’t stop,” he added.

Cabañero, CDDRMO personnel, said at least 800 persons sought shelter to the  barangay halls, sports complex and churches after floodwaters inundated their homes.

“This is not the first time that floods happened in these villages but this is the first time that the number of evacuees reached this many,” he said.

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