DENR reveals that16 barangays are landslide and flood-prone area which are listed in Geo Hazard Map. It means these barangays are very susceptible to flood. Barangay Andap has suffered the most. Secretary Ramon Paje explains that the map shows certain land areas which are unsafe for settlement. Illegal logging and small-scale mining contributed to massive destruction of Compostela Province when typhoon Pablo hits Davao region. NDRRC has recorded 331 dead and almost 400 missing as of December 6. These victims got caught by the typhoon while evacuating. The estimated cost of ruined crops is 4 Billion.
In Davao Oriental, Boston and Lingig are severely devastated by typhoon Pablo. Churches, schools, houses, barangay halls including municipal halls are almost turned into wood pieces ready to be used as firewood. There’s no evacuation center. There’s still no access to clean water. Moreover, deep well serves as temporary source of water for most people. Crops got flooded, no communication line and people are still fighting for their survival. If you were at the place, you would think the area had tsunami and earthquake.
On the 16th day of December Catholic churches start holding ‘simbang gabi’ (night mass). It is a series of masses practiced by Catholics and Aglipayans until Christmas Eve. How will that be possible if the house of God is full of rubbles and they are still in the process of rebuilding their broken homes?
Food, water and medicines are the urgent need of the victims. Doctors and nurses are also a great help. Survivors are brought to hospitals in Montevista to cater them all.
Vice Mayor Jejomar Binay arrived in the affected areas and has brought relief goods for families who are still surprised of the damage typhoon Pablo has done. They haven’t seen such destruction for 50 years. New Bataan and Cateel are now under the state of calamity. There’s a long list of missing people. There’s a lack of coffins and body bags as of the moment. Mass grave is prepared at the moment.
Some people have immediately decided to leave New Bataan and start a new life in a new place. Their homes are totally wrecked anyway. Infrastructures have been wiped out. However, many would want to stay although it seems like nature is shooing them away.
Total log ban is implemented in 2001. Governor Arturo “Chongkee” Uy said in an interview that illegal logging doesn’t exist anymore because there are no more trees to cut down. However, the current situation of Comval when typhoon Pablo came only proves that people are not disciplined and still practicing the prohibited activity. Landslide and Flashflood are undeniable evidences.
New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo Balbin Jr. prioritizes clearing operations to restore the road, repair of water and electricity and retrieval operations. Lt. Col. Tony Florendo of 66th Infantry Batallion leads in search for more dead bodies that are ran over by logs. Even the heavy equipments are useless because they are buried. There’s visibility of soldiers and naval men in areas that needed most assistance.
If Filipino houses in affected areas are well-built, the damage won’t be as much as we see on TV. Most houses at the foot of the mountain that are situated by the riverbank are made of low cost materials. In other words, they are poorly made. The location where they build their houses added to the danger they face in times of great calamity. The government claims they do their job by constantly reminding these people but they refuse to leave.
If nature strikes, that’s when people start waking up. The sad thing is, it’s too late to realize.