MANILA, Philippines: A devastating flood in the Caraga region of the Philippines has left at least 7,000 families stranded after a bridge connecting nearby communities and municipalities was destroyed. The bridge, located in Barangay Lamiawan, the farthest municipality in Caraga, collapsed due to the floods, according to Ednar Dayanghirang, the provincial director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Davao region.
The affected families, the majority of whom are indigenous people belonging to the Mandaya tribe, are now isolated from essential services and supplies. While they currently have enough food, the high water levels in the river have prevented government responders from reaching them.
“If the water level in the river subsides, we will be able to provide them with assistance. However, the flooding continues, and we are unable to reach them at the moment,” said Dayanghirang. “We are coordinating with the national government to repair the bridge as soon as possible, as we cannot afford to leave 7,000 families isolated.”
The flooding in the Caraga region was triggered by the torrential rains brought by Tropical Depression “Kabayan.” This has added to the challenges faced by the region, which has already been battered by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake and consecutive tremors. As a precaution, classes in 83 schools have been suspended, anticipating potential damage to structures.
Unfortunately, the impact of Kabayan extends beyond the Caraga region. In the Northern Mindanao region, one person is missing and another has been injured due to the storm. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that 19,601 families, or 65,470 individuals, are currently seeking refuge in 379 evacuation centers in Caraga. Despite weakening into a low-pressure area, Kabayan continues to bring intense rains.
The OCD’s central office in Camp Aguinaldo has reported that heavy rains have disrupted maritime activities, with 157 rolling cargo vessels on hold in different ports in Caraga and region 8. Additionally, 50 houses have been damaged in the typhoon’s path. Prior to Kabayan’s arrival, 6,910 families, or 22,695 individuals, were evacuated in preparation for the storm.
At this time, the OCD has not reported any agricultural damage caused by Kabayan. However, their personnel remain on red alert, closely monitoring the effects of the storm as it lashes at Palawan. It is expected that Kabayan will move out into the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday.
The situation in Caraga is a stark reminder of the devastating impact that natural disasters can have on vulnerable communities. The isolation of thousands of families highlights the urgent need for swift action and support from the national government. Efforts to repair the bridge and provide assistance to those affected should be prioritized to ensure the well-being and safety of all individuals in the region.
Source: The Manila Times