UPDATE: Koronadal placed under state of calamity

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/29 July) – The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has recommended the declaration of the entire city under a state of calamity following the series of flashfloods and landslides in the last several days that affected eight barangays in the area.

City Mayor Peter Miguel said the council issued the recommendation after it convened on Monday afternoon to assess the extent of the damage wrought by the floods and landslides in the area since last week.

“Our assessment is still ongoing but the initial damage assessment reports that came in already warranted the declaration of the entire city under the state of calamity,” he said.

Prior to the convening CDRRMC, the mayor said the barangay councils of Namnama, Concepcion and Assumption issued separate calamity declarations due to the effects of the floods and landslides in their areas.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991, he said the city government may declare a state of calamity upon the issuance of calamity declarations by two or more barangays.

Owing to this, Miguel said the CDRRMC recommended to the city council to issue a calamity declaration for the entire city.

Initial reports released by the CDRRMC showed that the floods and landslides affected portions of barangays Assumption, Mambucal, Sta. Cruz, San Isidro, Carpenter Hill, Namnama, Concepcion and Zone 3 in Poblacion.

Landslides were reported in barangay Assumption and in portions of the barangays traversed by the critical Marbel River.

Parts of barangay Zone 3 were submerged in waist-deep floodwaters last Friday due to the swelling of the Bulok Creek, which also traverses the city’s downtown area.

Cyrus Urbano, city administrator, said the local government relocated 12 families in Barangay Namnama and six in Concepcion as a result of the floods and landslides.

He said no casualties were reported during the incident but six houses situated in riverside communities in the area sustained partial damages.

Miguel said the local government could not yet determine the estimated value of the damages caused by the floods and landslides as the CDRRMC is still collating the updated reports from the affected barangays.

“There are a lot of barangays already affected and the lives of many people have been disrupted so we decided to push for the calamity declaration,” he said.

Upon the issuance of the calamity declaration, Miguel said local government will use the remaining funds of its 30-percent calamity budget or around P7 million for the implementation of various relief, rehabilitation and mitigation measures.

He said the funds will mainly be allocated for the mobilization of heavy equipment that will be used for the repair, rehabilitation and maintenance of the damaged roads and flood control structures.

“We can’t really control acts of nature but we can at least minimize its negative impact on our communities,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)