GenSan put on alert for floods, storm surges

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 July) – The city government is closely watching several low-lying areas and coastal communities due to the possible occurrence of major floods and storm surges in the wake of the onset of the rainy season.

Dr. Agripino Dacera Jr., head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said they have partnered with the barangay councils and other concerned government agencies to properly monitor areas that are highly prone to weather-related calamities.

He said at least six barangays are being monitored by their office due to possible heavy flooding.

These are Barangays San Isidro, Lagao, City Heights, Buayan, Baluan and portions of Katangawan.

“These barangays are the usual recipients of run-off water from (higher areas) in Barangays Conel and Mabuhay,” he told reporters.

The official said the local government already addressed the problems in some of these barangays due to the implementation of major drainage projects along with the national government these past years.

He said they expect the risk of flooding to be lesser in communities covered by the drainage projects.

But he said they are concerned with some parts of the city’s urban areas as a number of drainage projects are still pending.

He said the problem is being compounded by the clogging of wastes in drainage canals coming from households and establishments.

Aside from this, Dacera said several communities in the coastal barangays are presently exposed to possible onslaught of huge sea waves or storm surges.

These include seaside communities in portions of Barangays South and West, which had recorded incidents of storm surges in the past years.

Last December, at least eight houses were totally destroyed while 24 others sustained partial damages due to a storm surge that hit Puroks San Roque, San Vicente and San Juan in Dadiangas West on Christmas Day.

Dacera said they have been continually strengthening the capacities of the city’s 26 barangays, through the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils.

He said these councils are now functional and capable of managing potential disasters that might affect their areas.

“All our the barangays have already put in place and institutionalized these mechanisms,” he said. (MindaNews)