Rain, flood threats prolong residents’ trauma in Bohol

Brynch Bonachita
Rain, flood threats prolong residents’ trauma in Bohol

A rescue team in Loboc, Bohol helps an elderly man evacuate in Villadolid village.

Bohol provincial government

Military and Coast Guard teams battle bad weather to bring food aid to island barangays

Philippine Coast Guard personnel, Army troops, and local police helped more than 100 families to evacuate Loboc, Bohol on Monday, January 3, as its famous river spilled over into low-lying communities. 

Loboc Assistant Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Genevieve Jalawagon said on Tuesday, January 4, that 117 families in Villadolid village fled to Camayan High School.

Senior residents and vulnerable sectors requested help as soon as the city issued an orange alert flood warning, she added.

“Hapit na ta mo abot sa red…Nisaka na ang tubig, sug pud kaayo ang suba,” she told reporters. (It was nearing red. Waters were rising and the river currents were very strong.)

New threats of flooding continue to cause trauma among residents, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said on Tuesday as he thanked local officials and rescue teams for acting early.

The province warned towns and cities across the province to keep alert over the weekend as relief teams battled bad weather to reach communities.

When water from the highlands starts rushing in, it may only take minutes for the river level to move from orange to red or critical levels, Jalawagon said.

Yap said many local disaster teams have adjusted protocols in flood-prone areas, beginning evacuations at the start of orange levels.

In Loboc, where waters rose to the top of the municipal hall’s second story, preemptive evacuation saved lives, Jalawagon said. The town recorded only one death from Typhoon Odette as more than 4,809 families evacuated early.

Bohol Provincial Government, January 3

Even as bad weather continued for much of Bohol, ships carrying relief goods for island barangays sailed off from Tagbilaran Port.

Yap said the Coast Guard brought 140 sacks of rice, 70 sacks of canned goods, and 117 big packs of bottled water to the barangay islands of Balicasag, Panglao, Bamilacan, Baclayon and Tintinan, Ubay on Monday.

On New Year’s Day, 47th Infantry Battalion personnel were unloading hundreds of boxes of groceries, solar lights, and generator sets at the port.

The province’s daily tally of relief aid for Boholanos shows 97,153 family food packs distributed by the provincial government, and 68,005 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, 11,446 from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, and more than 2,000 hot meals from the Philippine Red Cross. –