341 residents in coastal areas in Davao City evacuated due to strong waves

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 04 August) — At least 341 individuals were evacuated to safer grounds after strong monsoon waves battered eight coastal barangays in Davao City, leaving 89 houses completely damaged and 104 more partially damaged, data released by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) on Sunday morning showed.

In a phone interview, Alfredo D. Baloran, CDRRMO officer-in-charge, said displaced families are currently staying in the evacuation centers, mostly chapels, parks, gymnasiums, and barangay halls.

He said many of affected residents moved out of their houses on Saturday evening while the others evacuated Sunday morning as the big waves came crashing down the shores at high tide.

No one was reported injured.

Baloran said affected houses were mostly shanties built along the coasts, many of them owned by illegal settlers whose houses were built above the water.

The CDRRMO listed the affected areas as Purok 8, Block 50, Barangay 21-C; Block 6 and 7, Barangay 22-C; Purok 4, Isla Verde, Barangay 23-C; Purok 13, Seaside, Barangay Bago Aplaya; Sabroso Village in Ecoland and St. John, Barangay Bucana; Purok Kalubin-an, Barangay Daliao; Purok Masea, Barangay Duterte; and Purok 1 and Purok 3, San Nicolas, Barangay Matina Aplaya.

Baloran said responders also rescued stubborn residents who refused to heed their call for a preemptive evacuation. The displaced residents were provided hot meals by the City Social Services and Development Office, he said.

Residents along the coastal barangays had been alerted since a month ago of the possible strong waves, he recalled.

“Since last month, we had a meeting with the residents of the coastal barangays to warn them of the impending monsoon waves. We had also asked the barangays to determine the probable areas where they can stay if this would come,” he said.

Baloran said the CDRRMO had already recommended that these areas be declared uninhabitable due to risks posed by the monsoon waves.

“That’s one of the biggest problems regarding the illegal settlers. The City Planning (Development Office) is already aware of it. They are growing in number,” he said. He added the houses on stilts were rotting from being submerged in seawater, endangering the dwellers. (Antono L. Colina IV / MindaNews)