Iligan evacuees appeal for help

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ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews/18 December) — Five-month old Kathleen crawled on a piece of carton, her bed for the night, at the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology campus on Saturday.

Kathleen is one of 2,224 persons, according to the listing of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC),  who sought refuge at the gym after their house in Purok 6, Barangay Hinaplanon, was swept away by rampaging floodwaters.

“Nahawan jud ang among balay,wala na miy mapuy-an. Hinoon, nagpasalamat mi nga buhi pa ming tanan kompara sa uban namong kabarangay nga nahurot jud sila tibook pamilya sa pagkamatay. Makalolooy kaayo.Manghangyo jud mi ug tabang” (Our houses are gone. But we are grateful we are alive. Our neighbors did not survive. We need help), Arnel Esteban, 27, said.

“Some huge logs from the hinterlands hit the houses, totally destroying them,” said 27-year old Arnel Esteban. Barangays Hinaplanon and Bayug Island were the worst hit.

“Nahawan jud ang among balay,wala na miy mapuy-an. Hinoon, nagpasalamat mi nga buhi pa ming tanan kompara sa uban namong kabarangay nga nahurot jud sila tibook pamilya sa pagkamatay. Makalolooy kaayo.Manghangyo jud mi ug tabang” (Our houses are gone. But we are grateful we are alive. Our neighbors did not survive. We need help), he said.

Esteban’s family is among an estimated 300 families who trooped to the  gym for shelter last Saturday. As of 9 a.m. Sunday morning, however, the student volunteers assigned at the desk near the entrance of the gym, said there were 553 families staying in the gym. Iligan’s CDRRMC listed 2,224 individuals.

On Saturday night, the evacuees lit candles while eating relief goods. Other evacuees stayed in  four barangay centers and in the overpass of Tubod road.

City social welfare officer Joy Magumpara in an interagency meeting on December 17 said 65 persons were killed and 270 others were reported missing in Iligan. But Allan Padilla, OIC of the  City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) told  MindaNews Sunday morning that the number of  slain persons had reached 184.

The interagency group is composed of representatives from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Department of Health, CSWD, CDRRMC and regional DRRMC.

“We hope to come up with a systematized operations and an integrated way of support mechanism so that the needs, welfare, rescue operations, health, relief operations and other support mechanism are accorded well to them,” Sukarno Tangglo, MSU-IIT chancellor said.   (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)

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