Test of resilience: State of calamity in 4 Iloilo towns

(UPDATE) Typhoon Yolanda tests the government's capacity to mitigate the impact of a disaster

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) –  The towns of Dumangas, Mina, Janiuay, and Zarraga in the province of Iloilo were placed under a state of calamity as super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) pounded the central regions of the Philippines, Friday, November 8.

Dumangas, Mina, and Zarraga were heavily battered by the typhoon, Iloilo Vice Governor Raul Tupas told Rappler. These towns lie along the major river basin Jalaur, making them flood-prone. 

Philippine News Agency reported that Dumangas and Janiuay were declared under a state of calamity by their respective municipal councils.

Island towns and villages in northern Iloilo were also heavily affected, Tupas said.

At least 26 of the 42 towns in the province are prone to flooding, local authorities said. 

The entire province will be placed under a state of calamity on Saturday, November 9, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) head Gerry Bionat said. 

Destruction and displacement 

Citing an initial assessment, the typhoon cut off 80% of the electricity in Iloilo, destroyed major roads and residential houses, and displaced hundreds of people, Tupas said.

As of Friday night, at least 6,000 families from 16 affected towns and Passi City sought temporary shelter in evacuation centers or in the houses of their friends or relatives. 

Most of them came from the towns of Alimodian, Banate, Calinog, Carles, Concepcion, Duenas, Dumangas, Guimbal, Janiuay, Lemery, Miag-ao, Mina, Pavia, and Zarraga.

Authorities enforced preventive evacuation starting Thursday night until Friday morning.

Two casualities were reported as of Friday night. One was 28-year-old Randy Sijar, who died from electrocution in Barangay Alibunan from the town of Calinog. The other was Marissa Pedregosa, who was hit by a galvanized iron that flew from the roofing in Barangay Imbang Pequena in San Enrique town.

Meanwhile, a landslide occurred in Barangay Aglubong in the town of Janiuay, damaging an entire school. 

Affected towns in Iloilo have already prepositioned relief goods for affected populations. 

According to Tupas, the provincial government will deliver relief goods to affected towns as soon as roads are cleared of fallen trees and other obstacles. 

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has already started its clearing operations along the main roads from Iloilo City to Barotac Nuevo.

Test of resilience 

Tupas said the people of Iloilo were prepared to face the disaster. What Typhoon Yolanda tested was the government’s capacity to mitigate the impact.

The provincial government of Iloilo is implementing a disaster preparedness and mitigation project called ReBUILD or “Resilience Capacity Building for Cities and Municipalities to Reduce Disaster Risks from Climate Change and Natural Hazards.” 

It particularly planned to put in place mitigating measures that include the following:

  • Early warning systems in communities
  • Operational contingency plans
  • Re-engineered infrastructure
  • Zoning regulations based on risks

(READ: Rebuilding Iloilo to become a disaster-resilient LGU) – Rappler.com

 

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