Tacloban City – Floods hit Eastern Samar anew as rivers swelled and overflowed towards villages in the towns of Jipapad, Arteche, Oras, Dolores and Maslog due to continuous heavy rains since Friday, December 17.
Arteche Mayor Roland Boie Evardone and his Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management (MDRRM) team immediately responded to the affected areas to provide the needed assistance.
“I have seen these with my own eye. The worst flooding we had ever experience,” Mayor Evardone narrated on his Facebook account.
Among the severely affected barangays are Bigo, Concepcion, Mac Arthur, Cagsalay and Tawagan, all of Arteche town.
Mayor Evardone led the distribution of food packs to Brgy. Bigo and to the other barangays affected the following day December 18, 2016.
Evardone reported that about 1,139 families affected from 9 barangays (Bigo – 89, Cagsalay – 123, Campacion -51, Casidman– 52, Concepcion – 400, Inayawan– 58, Mcarthur – 134, Tawagan- 201, Tibalawon – 35).
Water level in some areas of Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar reached six meters high, according to reports reaching the Office of Civil Defense in Eastern Visayas (OCD-8) based in Tacloban City.
Floods displaced 6,650 families in Eastern Samar (29,166 individuals); 2,687 families (11,438 persons) in Samar and 7,333 families (32,358 individuals) in Northern Samar.
The incessant rains triggered landslides in different areas of the three Samar provinces affecting the flow of traffic as roads in these places were rendered not passable.
According to the report from the Eastern Samar Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), that the towns of Arteche, Maslog, Oras, Jipapad, Can-avid, Dolores, Taft and Sulat were among the areas badly affected by floods in Eastern Samar.
The PDRRMO is still consolidating the reports which could be a basis in declaring a state of calamity in Eastern Samar although Sulat and Taft towns were reported to have issued separate declarations.
Mayor Evardone, meanwhile, said that their local DRRMC convened on the floods-aftermat and declared the whole municipality under state of calamity.
In February of 2008, Eastern Samar experienced with similar disaster when an almost-a-month continuous rainfall hammered the entire province. The rivers swelled, overflowed and flooded villages and farms with silt washed down from the mountains. The incident also destroyed houses, killed farm animals and damaged roads and bridges.
Disaster reports showed enormous damage on various private and government properties in Eastern Samar. Floods were also reported in many parts of Eastern Samar.
According to the reports from authorities, at least 13 people died, several were injured, about 35,000 families comprising of 174,000 individuals in 387 barangays of all the 22 towns and one city of the province were affected by the calamity.
The total estimated damage to agriculture, properties and infrastructure was P859.4 million. (Rowel C. Montes)