RESCUE. Police officers rescue an elderly woman in Cadena de Amor Street, Barangay Guiwan, Zamboanga City, amid the flood brought about by torrential rains spawned by a low pressure area on Wednesday (Jan. 11, 2023). The City Disaster Risk Reduction and management Council reported Thursday (Jan. 12) that two drowned and 7,214 families were affected by flooding in the city. (Photo courtesy of ZCPO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two people were confirmed dead while around 7,214 families were displaced by flood amid the low pressure area prevailing over this southern port city Wednesday.

Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief, identified Thursday the fatalities as Jaymar Sahim, 13, a grade eight student of Barangay Sangali; and Amilhussin Abdani, 33, of Barangay Arena Blanco.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office director, said investigation showed that Sahim fell into a ditch and was swept by strong currents while he and his two cousins went to the river around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday in Sitio Malasugat, Sangali.

On the other hand, Lorenzo said that Abdani died when he slid off the flooded road and was swept by rampaging waters around 5 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Arena Blanco.

“We have yet to confirm if there is another casualty, a female from Barangay Tetuan,” Apolinario said Thursday.

Apolinario said the 7,214 displaced families are staying in covered courts, schools and with their relatives in areas unaffected by flooding.

He said at least 81 houses were totally damaged while nine partially destroyed by flood in Barangay Santa Maria here.

Socorro Rojas, City Social Welfare and Development Office chief, said they have extended relief assistance to the affected families.

Meanwhile, classes in both public and private schools and work remain suspended Thursday as per recommendation of the CDRRMC. (PNA)