Flood-hit Northern Samar under state of calamity

By Roel Amazona

November 22, 2023, 8:10 am

TACLOBAN CITY – The provincial government has placed Nothern Samar under a state of calamity following the recommendation of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) members.

Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in a hybrid special session Tuesday afternoon passed and approved the recommendation of the PDRRMC after 18 towns were reportedly inundated.

The resolution states that "70 percent of the province population equivalent to 74,500 families or 370,000 individuals from 24 towns of the province was affected by the calamity."

The resolution did not include the estimate of damage and lists of towns affected by the massive flooding.

With the declaration of state of calamity, the provincial government may now mobilize its resources and implement measures to address the impact of flooding and provide immediate assistance to affected communities.

On the information from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) among the flood-affected towns in the province are the capital of Northern Samar which is Catarman, Catubig, Gamay, Lapinig, Las Navas, Lope de Vega, Mapanas, Mondragon, Pambujan, Rosario, San Roque, Victoria, and Lavezares.

A report from the Philippine National Police based on monitoring of their municipal police stations, included in the flooded towns are Palapag, Laoang, and Bobon.

Aside from the mainland towns flooding also affected were two island municipalities in Northern Samar - Capul and Biri.

Aside from Northern Samar, Jipapad town in Eastern Samar province was also placed under a state of calamity.

All 13 villages of the municipality were swamped with floodwaters since the morning of Nov. 20, affecting a total of 2,715 families or 9,913 individuals

This is the fourth time that the municipality experienced flooding this year.

Electricity is still down in the municipality until Tuesday and the main road in Brgy. Bigo, Arteche, Eastern Samar leading to the town is still impassable due to floodwaters.

The town can be reached by using the Arteche-Jipapad-Lapinig road in Brgy Imelda, Lapinig, Northern Samar.

Mayor Benjamin Ver said that although the town's disaster fund is already depleted they have prepositioned 1,500 food packs from the DSWD and 3,000 food packs from the LGU ready for distribution.

He said town proper residents were the first to receive the food assistance as it was still dangerous to travel upstream due to strong water currents. (PNA)