CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/17 December) — Tropical storm Sendong brought 180 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hours starting late Friday afternoon, flooding 23 of this city’s 80 barangays by early Saturday morning, weather specialist Mario Guya of the Philippine Astronomical and Geophysical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
Guya said Sendong brought rains with intermittent gusts of 14 mps winds starting late Friday afternoon, pouring 180 mm of rain water in less than 24 hours.
According to the monitoring of the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC), as of Saturday noon, 71 persons were confirmed dead and another 137 persons were reported missing.
In Barangay Consolacion, this reporter witnessed neighborhood volunteers recover 17 cadavers which they laid down temporarily inside the Catholic chapel. This number does not appear in CDRRMC’s list of fatalities.
The CDRRMC named the affected barangays as Macasandig, Balulang, Carmen, Kauswagan, Macabalan, Puntod, Gusa, Cugman, Tablon, Agusan, Bugo, Baikingon, Canitoan, Consolacion, Iponan, Balubal, Patag and barangays 13, 14, 15, 7, 6 and 10.
The same monitoring list of the CDRRMC said the hardest hit were barangays Macasandig with 24 fatalities and 36 persons missing, barangays 13 and 14 with 18 fatalities and 65 persons missing–most of whom resided along Isla de Oro, a river delta.
No light, no water
The city has been without electricity and running water since 11 p.m. Friday. Landline telephones and cables were also out.
Ryan Somo, manager of Somo Funeral Homes–where 50 of the 71 fatalities were taken–said they are having problems in embalming the dead because there is no water.
“It is difficult if we can’t embalm them right away because these could be sources of diseases and with no running water, this task will be even more difficult for us,” said Somo.
On Saturday noon, Chief Superintendent Jufel Adriatico, regional police chief, presided over the CDRRMC meeting attended by city administrator Griscelda Joson, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office Director Senior Superintendent Gerardo Rosales and other police officials where Adriatico announced they have deployed the city police force and at least 180 personnel from the police regional office.
Adriatico also said they are working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry to monitor and ensure that prices of basic goods such as mineral water, rice, and canned goods remain stable.
“Never take advantage by jacking up or hoarding basic goods. We will arrest those who will try to take advantage of the situation,” Adriatico said.
PNP-10 has also deployed two rubber boats and 15 teams with eight men per team for search and rescue. The City Police has also deployed another 10 teams to the rescue effort.
In an interview after their meeting, Adriatico said they will donate the 450 pails full of groceries–they were supposed to distribute to their personnel in time for their Christmas party tomorrow–to the flood victims.
Rosales, for his part, said he will also do the same with the packages of grocery items intended for their Christmas party.
Teodoro Sabuga-a, head of the Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council said in a telephone interview that in Naawan town in Misamis Oriental, 77 houses were damaged and one totally washed out by the flash floods.
Also damaged were an P8-M bridge and a poultry house.
He said they were able to rescue 33 persons and recovered two cadavers in Molugan, El Salvador whom they identified to be residents of Cala-cala, Burgos St., Isla de Oro and Tibasak, this city.
“We were also able to rescue 54 persons of the coast of Luyong Baybayon, Opol town,” he said. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)