BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The flashfloods that hit three cities and a municipality in Negros Occidental at the height of the New Year celebration claimed the life of one person and affected 14,932 families, Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD) chief, Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, said.
The lone fatality was identified as Ramil Panes, 26, who had been reported missing since New Year’s Eve after a drinking spree with friends.
His body was found Jan. 2 in the shoreline of Villa Miranda in Brgy. 6-A, Victorias City, the police said.
Caelian also said that 37 houses were destroyed and 127 others were damaged when flashfloods hit 42 barangays of EB Magalona, and the cities of Victorias, Silay, and Talisay.
The hardest hit were 17 barangays of Victorias City with 8,976 families affected, 706 families in 13 barangays of Silay City, 1,260 families in six barangays of EB Magalona, and 3,990 families in Talisay City.
All affected families returned to their homes on Jan. 2, when the water subsided, Caelian said.
He also reported that a fishing boat was destroyed, and three others damaged in Talisay City.
About 100 livestock also died in Silay City, while a wall of the Inocencio V. Ferrer School of Fisheries in Brgy. Zone 3, Talisay City, collapsed.
Damage to crops in the cities of Victorias and Silay were placed at P530,000, and P50,000 for livestock.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office said it has distributed eight boxes of goods and 15 boxes of bottled water in Talisay City, and 15 sacks of rice, six boxes of sardines, and 20 boxes of bottled water in EB Magalona.
Mayor Marvin Malacon reported that the municipal government, with the congressional office of Rep. Francisco Benitez and the provincial government, also distributed food packs to 1,260 families in barangays Tanza, Santo Niño, San Jose, Latasan, Consing, and San Isidro in EB Magalona.
Food packs were also distributed to affected residents in Talisay, Silay and Victorias by concerned local government units.
The 79th Infantry Battalion and the police also assisted respective DRRMOs in the evacuation and transport of families to evacuation centers.
Silay Mayor Mark Golez said the city government allocated P1 million for the food needs of affected families, that will be taken from the 2021 calamity funds. Retired police Col. Alexander Muñoz, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer of Silay City, meanwhile, said flashfloods happened in Silay every January in the last three decades, specifically Jan. 15, 2001, Jan. 11 in 2011, and Jan. 1 this year.*