Still reeling from the aftermath of Typhoon Odette, over 100 families in Loboc were evacuated on Sunday night after water level at the Loboc River swelled and dumped excess water into low-lying areas due to continued rains over the weekend.
According to Loboc Assistant Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Genevieve Jalawagon, some 117 families in the riverside village of Villadolid were taken to the Camayaan High School as river water rose up the orange level, the second highest level.
“Ni-abot ta og orange, hapit na ta mo abot sa red…Nisaka na ang tubig, sug pud kaayo ang suba. So simbako og magpadayon og kusog uwan ma-trap na ang atong mga taga Villadolid dili na ta ka-rescue nila, lisod. Unya mga bay didto nangaguba na daan tungod ni Odette,” said Jalawagon.
The MDRRMO prioritized the evacuation of households with elderly persons and children, while some “able-bodied” adults decided to remain in their homes.
Some residents in the nearby village of Barangay Villaflor who requested to be evacuated were also taken to the Camayaan High School.
Jalawagon said police officers, soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 47th Infantry Batallion and Philippine Coast Guard assisted in the evacuation efforts.
Authorities noted that it had been continuously raining in the town since January 1, leading to a steady rise in the river’s water level.
Barangay Villadolid has been known to be among the first villages to be flooded when the Loboc River’s water level rises.
“Sili gyuy una maigo tungod sa ilang entrada ug exit kay the same ra man, unya kanang ilang entrance ug exit mao nay unang lunopan so ma-trap sila,” she added.
According to Jalawagon, some residents have started to return to their homes on Monday morning as water level started to recede.
She noted that the orange water level was previously not a cause for evacuation but they have revised their protocol considering recent experiences in which water level quickly rose from the orange to the red or critical level.
“Karon ra na namo gi implement kay lahi na ang among standard sa water level kay og ngana paspas na ang tubo so maglisod mi. Sauna, basta yellow is prepare, orange is warning unya pagtaas sa red usa pa evacuate pero karon, tungod sa trend niya paspas ang pagsaka so di na ta mo kompyansa,” Jalawagon said (A. Doydora)