DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Fifty-one houses were totally damaged due to strong waves and high tide brought by the southwest monsoon on Saturday, August 3.
“Those wrecked houses are old built with old materials with posts submerged in the water,” said Alfredo Baloran, chief of the City Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDDRMO).
The strong waves partially damaged 98 houses and affected a total of 357 families or 800 individuals from the villages of 21–C, 22–C, 23-C, Bago Aplaya, Bucana, Daliao, Duterte, and Matina Aplaya.
Baloran said they send the affected families to the designated evacuation areas like the Barangay Hall or gym. Others, however, stayed with their relatives away from the coasts.
“Last month, we had a pulong-pulong because these monsoon waves occur yearly so we gave them information for preparedness,” he said.
Residents were informed during those gatherings that monsoon waves are expected from August to October. Baloran was happy to share that no one was injured last Saturday.
He revealed, though, that residents may soon be permanently relocated as the construction of the coastal road is ongoing. “We can’t force them to leave but eventually, they will have no choice but to be relocated.”
The CDDRMO closely monitored the coastal status after families went back from evacuation to their respective houses in the afternoon. He said he ordered the operation center to warn of another occurrence of strong waves at nighttime.
Rodrigo Bustillo, CDRRMO Operations Officer, said they have responders on standby for similar incidents, especially during high tides.
“We have advised the affected residents not to return to the coasts as we are still expecting strong waves but we can’t force them to do so. However, we already alerted our respondents,” Baloran said. He noted that residents should “immediately evacuate once they observe strong waves again.” (davaotoday.com)