Wednesday, January 14, 2009

3 biggest flashfloods: warning to Oro officials

By Joel Escol
Photos by

The twin biggest flashfloods that hit the city over the weekend has become a stern warning to city officials of Cagayan de Oro to back up the city’s urban development plans with the planting of more trees in the barangays surrounding the city.

This as the subdivision development and alleged illegal logging activities in the boundaries of Bukidnon and Lanao has damaged the environmental structure of the city which helps protect the city from flashfloods.

An environmentalist has earlier told this paper that some subdivision developers of the city continued to bulldoze the remaining mountainous areas and forested lands.

The city, he said, has also failed to institute measures and make plans that would protect the city from flashfloods because of these housing developments.

The city has also failed to petition the alleged massive illegal logging activities in the forested areas between Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur provinces, particularly in Tagoloan I and II.

The alleged illegal logging in these areas above mentioned has greatly contributed to the recent flashfloods that hit the city - claimed the lives of some residents and lost to millions of crops and properties.

In fact, the same source said if illegal logging activities also continued in these areas he fears an Ormoc-like tragedy would likely to happen in the future.

During the recent flashfloods that hit Cagayan de Oro, two children were confirmed missing.

The two victims were identified as fiver-year old Christina Dapusala and six-year old Angel Vencio who are both residents of Sitio Kala-Kala in Barangay Macasandig.

A search and rescue helicopter of the Philippine Air Force had been scouring Macajalar Bay Sunday but has failed to spot the two.

33 barangays of the city meanwhile were affected by the floods with 5,480 families or 27,375 persons.

City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) records showed the number of affected families reached 5,480 totalling 27,375 persons from 13 riverside barangays identified as 6, 7, 13,15,17, Carmen, Balulang, Consolacion, Gusa, Kauswagan, Macasandig, Tablon and Taguanao Indahag.

Barangays Macasandig and Consolacion were reported most affected with 9,930 and 7,440 families affected respectively.

In Barangay Consolacion, 20 houses were reported totally washed-out while 18 houses in Barangay Gusa were reported partially damaged.

Despite CDCC advise to residents not to return to their homes yet, some of them were back to their houses to salvage anything left and to start cleaning out mud left by the floods.

About 4,000 families are still seeking shelter in barangay halls and covered courts.


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