By Franco Regala
MASANTOL, Pampanga–The local government declared a state of calamity on Thursday, after the continuous onslaught of heavy rains in the town that affected thousands families and losses in livelihood, according to Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC).
MDRRMC in a report to Mayor Danilo Guintu said after carefully assessing the massive flooding due to Typhoon “Henry and Inday”, the Sangguniang Bayan here placed the municipality under state of calamity to help the victims.
Based on the assessment released by MDRRMC, all 26 barangays of this town were submerged in two to five feet of floodwaters since Tuesday, affecting some 5,514 families or 25,460 individuals.
The whole town is already submerged in water, especially barangays in the left bank portion of our municipality which are experiencing almost five feet of floods. Even our town plaza is flooded, especially on afternoons when tide level is high, according to Mayor Guintu.
However, all major roads remain passable. He said that the MDRRMC is monitoring six secondary dikes in Barangays Bagang, Cambasi, Nigui, Palimpe, Sagrada and Sta. Cruz due to minor damages and overflowing of the Pampanga River.
Meanwhile, MDRRMC estimated damages in agricultural crops and livestock with estimated around P771-million. Aquaculture crops from 2,500 hectares of fishponds were damaged by the massive flash floods and water from the upstream.
MDRRMC also reported that 7,500 metric tons of prawns (sugpo) amounting to P100-million; 1,250 metric tons of crabs amounting to P500-million; 200 metric tons of milkfish (bangus) amounting to P24-million; and 2,500 metric tons of tilapia amounting to P150-million were damaged, Thursday afternoon.
“The simultaneous downpour of rain and occurrence of flash floods, high tide and descent of water from the upstream affected our agriculture sector which is the main source of livelihood in our town. Based on our assessment, 950 fishpond operators were already affected,” Guintu quoted.
The mayor said that with the declaration of state calamity, we can now mobilize our calamity funds to immediately provide assistance to affected families.
Guintu disclosed that the local government here is already preparing 5,000 packs of relief goods, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development vowed to provide additional 2,000 packs of relief goods to be distributed to flood-affected residents.