Philippines: Davao Oriental has appealed for national help after countless landslides, damaged bridges and a huge sinkhole cut off its eastern coastal towns

Jan 16, 2014

Davao Oriental eyes massive relocation as bridges collapse, sinkhole appears

DAVAO CITY—The governor of Davao Oriental has appealed for national help after countless landslides, damaged bridges and a huge sinkhole cut off its eastern coastal towns days after a rain-heavy low pressure area submerged the areas facing the Pacific Ocean.

Thousands remained unreacheable as of Thursday, almost a week since Saturday’s flashfloods.  Gov. Corazon Malanyaon said residents have been talking about a disaster worse than [the effect of Typhoon] Pablo.”

Malanyaon aired her appeal over the government-run Radyo ng Bayan station here, after receiving reports that much damage was caused by rampaging waters carrying logs and tree debris that were not pulled out since Pablo in December 2012.

She said residents told her the loss of livelihood was much worse than the effect of Pablo and the “isolation is more massive now that we really need help from national government agencies.”

She could not give an estimate, but on Wednesday she said no fewer than 47,000 families were affected by the flood and the isolation.

She said transportation, especially trucks that carried relief goods, could only go as far as the third town up north from the capital city of Mati, as two bridges in Caraga town were damaged, including the main Manurigao Bridge.

On Wednesday Malanyaon said she has tapped the Philippine Navy to drop supplies to Baganga town, and from there, distribute the relief items to the isolated towns of Caraga, Cateel and Boston.

But more villages from other towns were also devastated, including the eastern coastal town of Manay, two towns up northeast of Mati. Malanyaon said a huge sinkhole, the width equivalent to two fully grown coconut trees and a depth of similar length, was reported in Purok 9, Barangay Macopa. But she said the exact dimension of land subsidence remained uncertain as local officials could not reach the area and isolated many its sitios remains.

She said she had conferred with the town mayor, who informed her of hiring 15 horses to distribute the goods to the isolated sitios.

Landslides and tree debris left unmoved after Pablo also blocked small roads and prevented access to many interior areas of Boston, Cateel and Caraga, “especially the tribal communities,” she said.

Meanwhile, she has already indicated her intention to compel local governments to permanently abandon all areas regularly flooded or damaged by flashfloods.

“We should not force [the residents] to resettle to these areas again. We have to permanently relocate,” she said.

From her enumeration of places that needed to be deserted, the permanent relocation appeared to be massive, with movement of residents expected in the eastern coastal towns of Manay, Caraga, Baganga, Cateel and Boston.

“I told their residents and their mayors not to force them to go back  to their areas because they have been affected several times for a long time already,” she said. “No amount of flood control and putting up of dikes could solve the problem.”

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Comment by Kojima on January 22, 2014 at 3:56pm

* 21 January 2014: South-East Asia – Severe Weather [Relief Web; 21 January, 2014]

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THE PHILIPPINES

• LINGLING (known as AGATON in the Philippines) weakened into a Low Pressure Area off the coast of eastern Mindanao on 19 January. Early on 21 January (UTC), it was located approx. 470 km East of Davao City.

• On 20 January heavy rains continued affecting parts of central and southern Philippines. Approx. 130 mm of rain in 24h were observed in Surigao (north-eastern Mindanao) and 105mm in Guiuan (eastern Visayas).

• As of 21 January, there are 42 dead, eight people missing, 65 injured and 203 022 people displaced inside 565 evacuation centers.

• In the next 24h, the Low Pressure Area may still bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over the regions of Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Compostella Valley and Davao Oriental.

Comment by Khan on January 21, 2014 at 3:17am

Over 500,000 People Displace by Floods in Philippines

Jan 20, 2014

A man is pulled on a makeshift raft during an evacuation from flooding brought by tropical depression "Agaton", in Butuan, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao January 20, 2014.

Residents ride on a rescue boat after being evacuated from flooding brought by tropical depression "Agaton", in Butuan, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao January 20, 2014

A man helps evacuees get on a rescue boat amid floods brought by tropical depression "Agaton", in Butuan, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao January 20, 2014.

A mother and her children ride on a rescue boat after being evacuated from flooding brought by tropical depression "Agaton", in Butuan, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao January 20, 2014

Flood victims are pulled on inflatable tire tubes as they are evacuated from heavy flooding brought by tropical depression "Agaton", in Butuan, in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao January 20, 2014

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Comment by sourabh kale on January 17, 2014 at 7:59pm

More Deaths in Philippines Floods

Comment by Khan on January 17, 2014 at 6:38am

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