Cagayan de Oro under state of calamity

Bobby Lagsa
(UPDATED) Forced evacuation has been ordered in several flood- and landslide-prone barangays. Some parts of the city are in neck-deep water.

STRANDED. Vehicles and commuters have been stranded in Cagayan de Oro since Monday night, January 16, after nonstop rains triggered flash floods across the city. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (UPDATED) – The city council declared Cagayan de Oro under state of calamity before dawn Tuesday, January 17, after the streets were submerged in neck-deep floods triggered by the nonstop rains Monday afternoon.  

Upon the recommendation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (CDRRMD), the city council declared a state of calamity due to massive damage caused by the floods, affecting thousands of residents.

As of 8 pm Monday, 3,865 people had been evacuated, excluding students who were stranded in colleges and universities. 1,341 families are in evacuation centers, according to city social welfare head Teddy Sabuga-a. 

A low pressure area and the tail-end of a cold front caused heavy flooding on Monday, leaving thousands of students and workers stranded in some areas of the city, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department (CDRRMD) said.

As of 6:30 pm, heavy rains that lasted for more than 3 hours submerged streets and major thoroughfares in the city, rendering them impassable to vehicles. Military trucks were deployed to transport stranded commuters and to rescue those trapped in their houses. 

Power supply in the city was also cut off by the Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Lights Company.

As of posting, forced evacuation is being carried out in several barangays, and announcements for cancellation of classes and work have been made for Tuesday. 

The state weather bureau Pagasa forecasts moderate to heavy rain in the Visayas, the regions of Northern Mindanao and the Zamboanga Peninsula, and the province of Palawan for Tuesday. 

When an area is placed under a state of calamity, the local government will have access to disaster and emergency funds to help them respond to needs of victims in the area.

The prices of basic commodities will also be controlled for 60 days until the declaration is lifted, emergency workers will get extra pay, and no-interest loans may be extended by the government to people most in need. – Rappler.com 

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