Butuan City declares state of calamity

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/15 January) – The city council passed a resolution Tuesday declaring the city under a state of calamity, to expedite assistance for residents displaced by floods triggered by a low pressure area that hovered over northeastern Mindanao since last week.

City councilor Ferdinand Nalcot said the Sangguniang Panglungsod passed Resolution No. I3-008-20I4 shortly before noon Tuesday.

“We are actually alarmed that news spread out since Sunday that we have already declared a state of calamity. They were way ahead,” he said.

Gracia Espere, officer in charge of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said that around 8,000 individuals from 29 barangays had been displaced by the flooding.

“Right now we have around 8,000 individuals from 2,8I7 families in I9 different evacuation centers all over the city. So far together with the city social welfare office we have allocated enough relief goods and food to our affected families. The declaration of the state of calamity would be a huge help in the ongoing relief efforts and rehabilitation,” said Espere.

Alfredo Lumayan, of barangay Baan Km3 who evacuated in Sibayan Elementary School said the distribution of relief goods for the evacuees was going well.

But he said that some of them have become ill and needed medicines.

“It’s hard living in the evacuation center since there are about eight families and sometimes more in just one classroom,” he said.

However, evacuees who did not go to designated evacuation centers won’t be receiving relief goods.

One of them is Josephine Burnea of barangay 2I Mahogany, who opted to stay with a relative after their house was flooded.

“We are now staying with a relative here in another barangay since it would be hard for the children in the cramped classrooms, she explained.

As of I0:00 in the evening of January I4, the city is on alert level 2 and is closely monitoring the water level of the Agusan River. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)