Philippine tropical cyclones

4 dead in Aklan; thousands of families flee floods in Panay, Negros islands 

Jun Aguirre
4 dead in Aklan; thousands of families flee floods in Panay, Negros islands 

FLOODED. Water surrounds Kalibo town hall on the evening of October 27 after hours of heavy rain brought by the shear line trough of Tropical Storm Paeng.

Mayor Juris Bautista Sucro

(1st UPDATE) The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) says Capiz has the most number of affected families, at 17,542

AKLAN, Philippines – Three abaca farmers died when they were trapped by floodwaters in Libacao town in Aklan province on Thursday, October 27.

Vice Mayor Vincent Navarossa  told Rappler on  October 28 that the three farmers were not able to leave their area of work before highland waters rushed into the swampy area where abaca is grown.

The office of Governor Jose Enrique M. Miraflores in a report Friday afternoon, October 28, said a total four persons died in Libacao. There was one injury while two other individuals remained missing following devastating floods caused by rain from the shear line and trough of Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae).

Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) spokesperson Cindy Ferrer said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported Capiz with 17,542 affected families, the most in Western Visayas; followed by Aklan with 4,649; Iloilo, 869; Negros Occidental, 792; and Antique,678.

The DSWD figure is lower than what provinces shared with Rappler. The department said 2,992 families are staying in evacuation centers.

Kalibo, the capital of Aklan, had thigh-high waters surrounding the town hall Thursday night.

Mayor Juris Sucro showed the height of the flood as he went to check on hundreds of evacuees in the town hall’s fourth-floor evacuation center.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office declared a green alert on the Aklan River, the highest warning.

It called off rescue efforts late afternoon after telling the residents of communities near the watercourse all day to evacuate.

The province said floods affected  7,667 families or more than 30,000 individuals – practically the entire population of Libacao. 

Banga town, which reported a landslide, had more than 1,000 families affected, Kalibo, 730; Balete, 717; and Numancia, 412. 

A total of 11,000 families or more than 40,000 individuals, including from less affected towns, need help, said the provincial government.

The province placed initial damage to agriculture at P21.4 million and P62.2 million for infrastructure.

Negros provinces

In Negros Occidental, the provincial social welfare office said more than 3,000 families or 13,000 persons were affected by flooding in the cities of San Carlos and Bago and the towns of Calatrava,  Moises Padilla, E.B. Magalona, Valladolid and Hinoba-an.

Valladolid reported 11,615 persons from 2,589 families in nine villages were affected. Most, however, moved to kin in safer areas of the town, said PSWDO head Merle Garcia.

The breakdown of affected families in the province were as follows: San Carlos City, 102; EB Magalona, 90; Calatrava, 190; Hinobaan, 101; three in Bago and one in Moises Padilla.

Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, where more than 300 families evacuated, reported no casualties.

More than 204 families took shelter in the Guihulngan City gym in badly-hit Barangay Poblacion where heavy rain and high tide brought the sea to the city center. 

Rescue workers carry residents of Barangay Poblacion in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental on Thursday, October 27 after heavy rain brought on by the shear line and trough of Tropical Storm Paeng. (Photos courtesy of Guihulngan CDRRMO/ Chaya Claire Mabilog-Gimena)

Ninety other families in other towns also evacuated from flooded communities, the provincial disaster office said.

Residents posted photos and videos of flash floods in parts of Siaton, Sta. Catalina, and Basay in Negros Oriental, and of at least two bridges damaged by rampaging waters.

Officials temporarily closed a bridge linking two villages in Sta Catalina but have since reopened it for use.

Engineers working on an almost finished dike in Siaton town reported the loss of two cement mixers that flood waters carried off and estimated damage on the infrastructure project at P40 million.

DSWD aid

The Department of Social Welfare and Development  in Western Visayas said it had dispatched  family food packs worth P26.85 million and allocated a P5-million contingency fund.

According to the Regional Disaster Risks Reduction Management Office, among those heavily affected were three towns in Aklan ( Banga, Libacao, New Washington), Culasi in Antique, and the municipalities of Maayon, Cuartero, Mambusao, Tapaz, and Jamindan in Capiz. – Rappler.com

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