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111 families in San Carlos City evacuate due to flooding

FLOODED. A flooded area in one of the affected villages in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental on Saturday night (Jan. 16, 2021). Heavy rains brought floods that left some 111 families still in evacuation centers on Sunday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – For the third straight weekend, heavy rains brought floods anew in the north of Negros Occidental, with San Carlos City, the province’s northernmost locality, being the hardest hit on Saturday night.

As of Sunday afternoon, 111 families were still in various evacuation centers, according to a report of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).

The affected residents are sheltered in Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School, Tandang Sora Elementary School, Greenville Elementary School, Medina Elementary School, and in some private establishments.

Mayor Renato Gustilo, who visited the affected areas on Saturday night, said the CDRRMO immediately deployed responders while the San Carlos City Police Station also assisted in the rescue operations.

Floods were reported in several villages such as Barangays 1, 2 ,5, 6 and Rizal.

According to the city information office, it was the first time that the affected residents experienced floodwaters entering their homes.

In a statement, senior environment management specialist Arthur Batomalaque of the City Environment Management Office said the downpour swept the debris to the city’s waterways which could have caused the flooding and triggered a bottleneck in some of the stormwater outlets.

“Plastic wastes that usually clog waterways are not the cause of the floods since it has been long addressed by the city. The floodwaters immediately subsided which is a good indication of a non-clogged drainage system,” he added.

Instead, Batomalaque said the volume of rainwater from the mountains was just enormous to be contained by the water channels.

“The city will just have to check its flood control plan. Mayor Gustilo is already planning to widen the waterways especially in Barangay 1, which is a flood-prone area. Although the city has been doing this already still, we need to double our efforts since the trees are our front-liners when it comes to floods,” he added.

On Jan. 1 and 8, flash floods also hit a large portion of northern Negros, affecting some eight local government units.

Among hardest hit were the cities of Silay, Talisay and Victorias, and E.B. Magalona town in the third district, which were all placed under a state of calamity due to massive effects of the floods. (PNA)

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