BATO, Camarines Sur – While Typhoon Juaning has already inched its way out of the country a week ago, the floodwater it has poured over this municipality and in the adjoining towns in the province remained, leaving some schools and houses still drenched and submerged under floodwater.
Of the Rinconada tows, the lakeside town of Bato was also one of the hardest hit by the flooding.
Bato Mayor Jeanette OR Bernaldez has already raised an appeal to various government agencies to offer any assistance to their town as most of her barangays continued to suffer from excessive floodwater, not to mention the infestation of water hyacinth that is hampering the flow of water out of the lake.
More than 40,000 of her constituents are now dependent on relief goods and supplies coming from the local government unit. Bernaldez said that their immediate needs consist of plywoods and other housing materials, foods, medicine and a safe supply of water since their water supply were among the structures destroyed by the rummaging floodwater.
Three of the casualties came from the said municipality. Niño Mora- 29 years old, Jemel Dangcalan- 14 years old and Domingo Lomitao – 45 years old all from Barangay Buluang and San Juan of Bato respectively, perished on the height of the typhoon after drowning. According to the record of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), of the 9 barangays in Bato severely affected by the flooding, 1,443 individuals or a total of 407 families evacuated.
Aside from Bato, one of the affected municipalities is the town of Bula. Its main center of commerce is still flooded as of press time, forcing some local business stalls to temporarily close down. Classes are still suspended due to the knee-deep water that refuses to subside. In order not to disrupt the usual business transactions inside the municipality, employees are temporarily working in the covered court to respond to various queries of their constituents.
In Nabua, some sitios, particularly in Barangay San Vicente are still underwater. This is also true in the municipalities of Milaor , Gainza, Camaligan, San Fernando and Minalabac which are shouldering the brunt of being the catch basins of the remaining waters coming from the province of Albay.
Meanwhile, more than P7million worth of damages has already been recorded affecting the fishery sector. Mr. Santi Noblefranca, BFAR Provincial Officer here in Camarines Sur said that most of these destructions were noted on fish cages, baklad, fish shelters and fishnets. Some of the fishes in Lake Buhi were also found dead which the experts attributed to the production of excessive sulfur in their habitat. (Lizel S. Macatangay)