Surigao Norte town lists villages prone to calamities

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/25 July)—Municipal officials in Socorro town, Surigao del Norte have identified their villages that are prone to disasters.

In a series of meetings last week at Gateway Hotel here, municipal and barangay officials, including the non-government organization People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network, Inc. (PDRRNI), identified the villages that are prone to tsunami, storm surge, landslide and wildfire.

Weldelito Ramires, officer-in-charge of Socorro Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office, said that the town identified the villages prone to natural calamities based on historical accounts and scientific studies.

Ramirez said that Barangays Navarro, Rizal, Sta. Cruz, Pamosaingan, Helen, Taruc, Sering, Del Pilar, Songkoy and Salog are vulnerable to tsunami.

With 2,276 families or 14,882 individuals in these villages, he said that infrastructures also highly at risk to tsunami include the Siargao Bank, Cantilan Bank, a rice mill and two others owned by cooperatives.

Ramirez identified those prone to storm surge as Barangays Rizal, Navarro, Sta.Cruz, Taruc, Songkoy,Sering, Salog, Dona Helen and Pamosaingan.

The landslide-prone villages are Rizal, Sering, Sudlon, Helene and Navarro, he added.

Ramirez said that the villages of Honrado, Salog and Sering had a history of wildfire.

Ramirez said the “Bayanihan spirit” or communal unity is still alive in the town, a tradition that, according to him, can be helpful during calamities.

Ann Ria Barrera, PDRRNI project coordinator, said that they are helping municipalities lessen their vulnerabilities to disasters under the program called “Scale Up, Built Up Project.”

Socorro town is among the five municipalities in Surigao del Norte targeted to increase their resilience and reduce their vulnerability to disasters through community-based disaster risk reduction models.

The other towns are Mainit, Placer, General Luna, and Malimono.

The project, which is supported by the European Commission, also aims to strengthen local alliances and advocacy and to “empower champions on disaster risk reduction.”

Socorro Mayor Denia Florano said that they are pushing for the implementation of Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 by improving access to information to increase the resilience of identified high-risk villages in the locality.

The newly-elected mayor said her administration will support projects like mitigation and adaptation to protect the people and properties from calamities. (Roel Catoto/MindaNews)