Over 500 families flee Cagayan de Oro’s flood-prone areas

Dec. 22, 2017

EVACUATION. Police officers and government rescuers assist villagers in Cagayan de Oro City as they find safer grounds as severe tropical storm Vinta (Tembin) arrives here on Friday, December 22, 2017. (Jigger Jerusalem / davaotoday.com)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Hundreds of families here left their homes situated in flood-prone areas to find shelter in Cagayan de Oro City’s evacuation centers.

As of Friday morning, December 22, the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) office said around 503 families or 1,719 individuals evacuated.

These families, according to CSWD, are at 27 temporary shelters as they wait for the waters in Cagayan de Oro and Iponan rivers to subside.

Severe tropical storm Vinta (Tembin) brought heavy rains in nearby province Bukidnon, cascading them into Cagayan de Oro City. Residents have learned their lesson back in 2011, when tropical storm Sendong (Washi) took a similar path.

At least three bridges here were closed to vehicular traffic after the water level of Cagayan de Oro river continued to rise Friday morning.

The local government declared the city “code red” Thursday, December 21, prompting residents to leave their homes and seek evacuation shelters in their respective villages.

The rising floodwaters inundated the facilities of the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD), forcing the utility to shut down several of its production wells in barangays Macasandig and Balulang, two of the villages worst hit by Sendong in 2011.

The shutdown of these wells, the COWD said in a statement, “is necessary to avoid contamination of water supply to safeguard public health.

The COWD also advised its customers to store water while it is still available.

“Do not forget to include water in your emergency kits, ideally one gallon of water per person for three days. COWD shall be providing regular water supply advisories and updates,” the company said. (davaotoday.com)

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