Thu. May 13th, 2021

A second wave of massive flooding triggered by hours of rains hit local government units (LGUs) in northern Negros Occidental on Friday night.

Similar to what took place in the early morning of New Year’s Day, hundreds of residents in the cities of Talisay, Silay, Victorias, and the town of E.B. Magalona, all situated in the third district, were back in evacuation centers after waters rose neck-deep and even higher in some barangays.

Latest data from affected LGUs showed that in Talisay, just north of Bacolod, 2,964 families from 15 villages were evacuated as of Saturday noon.

In Silay, 193 families took shelter at the civic center by past midnight.

Meanwhile, in Victorias, an initial 1,089 families were displaced, 830 of whom left their homes during preemptive evacuation.

“The floods were really bad. We had a hard time rescuing people. My vehicle could no longer enter some areas where waters were rising on Friday night,” said Victorias Councilor Francis Frederick Palanca, who joined responders in evacuating his affected constituents.

By early Saturday morning, Palanca was still with responders rescuing people stranded in their homes.

Although there were areas where floodwaters have subsided, some were still underwater at noon, he added.

In E.B. Magalona, at least three villages were flooded and several residents were also brought to evacuation centers.

During the January 1 floods, Cadiz City reported only damage to crops, but this time at least a hundred residents of the second district were also displaced and evacuated to a school building.

Further down north in Escalante City, which is part of the first district, a portion of the national road in Barangay Jonob-Jonob was also flooded and rendered impassable for a few hours.

Hours before the rains came on Friday, third district officials led by Rep. Francisco Benitez, with Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, launched a dredging operation in Victorias as part of the response to the January 1 flash floods that affected some 15,000 families and destroyed and damaged hundreds of houses in Talisay, Silay, Victorias and E.B. Magalona.

Talisay and Victorias were placed under a state of calamity by their respective city councils on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. SOVEREIGNPH

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