Northern Mindanao LGUs rescue flood victims on Christmas

AUTHORITIES conduct a rescue operation in a flooded area in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental on Christmas Day. (FB)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PNA) – Christmas did not come easy to some local government units in Northern Mindanao as they welcomed the supposed most joyous event of the year by rescuing stranded residents amid flooding in many parts of the region over the weekend.

In Misamis Occidental province, Gov. Henry Oaminal has called on local Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) units to expand their operations to the affected barangays and urged the public to go to evacuation centers if they live in danger zones.

"Please support the designated evacuation centers because it's for everyone's welfare, and don't worry in your stay because the provincial government is ready to provide your needs," he said during a press briefing on Christmas Day.

Initial reports from Region 10 DRRM Council (RDRRMC-10) showed that the town of Jimenez evacuated 2,274 residents or 454 families while 124 residents or 51 families from Sinacaban town also went to evacuation centers.

Sinacaban also reported infrastructure damage worth P280,000 from power lines and water system pipelines.

The city government of Oroquieta and the towns of Calamba, Aloran, and Tudela have yet to submit their evacuation figures.

Ozamiz City has also reported flooding in some city streets and barangays.

In an interview, JC Montes, who works in Zamboanga del Sur, said he has yet to contact his brother for updates in Barangay Ospital, Aloran, Misamis Occidental, as they were left without power.

He was informed that their family home was devastated by the flood on Christmas Eve.

Xenia Dando, a resident of Jimenez, Misamis Occidental, said rain started pouring continuously as early as Dec. 23 in the town proper.

"It has been raining for a week in the hinterland barangays, some are already part of Tudela town. Farmers usually sell their vegetable produce in our market but lately, they only had fewer supplies because they said it was because of the continuous rains," she said.

Meanwhile, in the province of Misamis Oriental, the initial report from RDRRMC-10 showed that six affected LGUs evacuated their residents.

Most evacuees are from Gingoog City, with 1,380 residents or 553 families, while the town of Talisayan has 483 residents or 130 families.

Other LGUs include Magsaysay, Balingoan, Balingasag, and El Salvador City.

In a special session on Sunday, the Gingoog City Council passed Resolution No. 2022-361 declaring the city under a state of calamity.

In a press briefing, Mayor Erick Cañosa said the local DRRM office has reported damage to the coastal infrastructure and also urged the affected public to seek refuge in evacuation centers.

"All our barangays and functionaries, as well as volunteers, are urged to continue helping the affected families," he said.

In Iligan City, Mayor Frederick Siao issued an advisory mandating its local DRRM office and barangays to remain vigilant as rescue operations are also conducted in some flooded communities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 10 has provided more than P8.4-million worth of family food packs or 12,856 boxes.

It also has a standby fund amounting to P7.3 million.