EASTERN SAMAR, Philippines – Governor Ben Evardone has asked the developer and contractor of a resettlement village in Salcedo town to immediately start repairs on units and an access road hit by a landslide on Wednesday, January 4.
After visiting Salcedo Ville in Barangay Tagbacan on Thursday, January 5, the governor warned that delaying repairs would further endanger the community.
“We have evacuated to safer units in the relocation sites 50 families in the landslide area,” the governor told Rappler on Thursday night.
“We are asking the contractor of the relocation site and the units to immediately repair the structures to prevent further damage and possible loss of lives,” he added. Village residents include survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Salcedo Ville was developed by SM Development Corporation and funded by SM Care Foundation.
Salcedo Mayor Rochelle Mergal said in a Facebook post that the landslide affected four blocks of housing units and caused severe damage to the access road and material recovery facility.
Mergal said days of heavy rain had softened the ground of the hilltop village in the fifth class municipality.
There were no casualties due to preemptive evacuation.
A video of Evardone inspecting the site showed local government officials talking in Waray, pointing out possible safety standard lapses in the area.
In Borongan City, the provincial capital, the city disaster risk reduction management office, the city engineering office and the 78th Infantry Battalion reopened a landslide-blocked road in Barangay Siha on Friday morning, January 6.
The city information office said roads had also been cleared in San Gabriel, Calico-an, Banuyo, and Canyupay villages.
Siha was the worst hit of Borongan barangays with floods reaching neck level in some areas.
Residents of barangays located beside the Loom River were also stranded in their homes during the Christmas holidays as they could not cross the waterway swollen by days of rain.
A low pressure area brought moderate to heavy and intense rains over Eastern Visayas, causing floods in 19 barangays in Leyte, 12 barangays in Samar, and four in Catarman, Northern Samar.
“The massive flooding in various areas is a concrete manifestation of climate change. We have to adapt to it and be resilient,” Evardone said. – Rappler.com