State of calamity declared in GenSan barangay

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 January)  — Officials declared a village here under a state of calamity due to the severe floods affecting some 600 families.

Armando Diamante, chair of the flood-hit Barangay Baluan here on Thursday said they issued the calamity declaration to facilitate the release of their calamity funds and the implementation of rehabilitation initiatives within the affected areas.

The declaration was made through Resolution 001 passed by the Baluan Barangay Council on Wednesday.

Citing results of its initial assessment, the council noted in the resolution that the floods ravaged almost the entire barangay, damaging farm-to-market roads and farmlands.

Knee-deep floodwaters swept Barangay Baluan and portions of nearby barangays Lagao and Bula due to the swelling of the Baluan creek and several other waterways following hours of heavy rains on Sunday afternoon.

Intermittent rains continued almost nonstop in the area until Tuesday due to a Low Pressure Area (LPA) and an embedded Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao.

The council said the floods submerged residential communities inPuroks Tahimik, Pagkakaisa, San Francisco, Masagana, San Vicente, San Jose, Lower San Isidro, Upper San Isidro, Sarif Mucsin and Mapagmahal.

It said the calamity so far affected a total of 601 families and destroyed an estimated 50 hectares of farmlands planted with palay and other agricultural crops.

Around 10 kilometers of farm-to-market roads in the area also sustained various damages, the Baluan barangay council said in its resolution.

Classes at the Baluan Elementary School have remained suspended since Monday after some of its classrooms were also submerged by floodwaters.

The council asked the city government, through Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, and other concerned agencies to immediately extend the necessary assistance to the victims.

Diamante said the floods have so far subsided in some portions of the village due to the clearing of the clogged portions of the Baluan Creek.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier blamed the floods in the area to the clogging of wastes along the creek that hampered the flow of water towards the city’s drainage outlets.

“The situation in some parts of the area is now going back to normal as the floodwaters have already subsided,” he said.

Diamante said they are currently working on the immediate rehabilitation of some damaged roads and infrastructure to facilitate the access and the movement of people, products and services to the area. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)