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State of calamity persists in some Bicol localities

CAMP SIMEON OLA, LEGAZPI CITY (Aug 28, 2011) – With 10 more typhoons still expected to come to the country before year–end and heavy rains frequently occurring in the region, a ‘state of calamity’ is expected to drag on in some localities of Bicol.

Bernardino Rafaelito Alejandro IV, regional director of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), said that despite subsidies given by government agencies to farmers in Albay and Camarines Sur to enable them to replant, the farmers have already lost potential income from 2 croppings because many areas remain flooded.

Recommended permanent structures could not be built in affected areas because threats of typhoons and rains persist until the end of the year, Alejandro said.

In Albay, as many as 200,000 people mostly in farming communities are still reeling from the effects of typhoon “Juaning.”

In Malinao Albay, hundreds of elementary school pupils and high school students are unable to attend classes because floods and lahar flows destroyed most of the classrooms and school facilities.

In Bato Camarines Sur, the OCD continues to assist 850 families rendered homeless by floods caused by typhoon “Juaning.” Alejandro said, they have given 100 tents that serve as dwellings of over a hundred families. Others remain in classrooms of two elementary schools.

Bato Mayor Janette Bernaldez has appealed to the national government for continued support for basic needs of the evacuees. She is asking for a P 15- Million worth of a multipurpose structure to house the displaced residents until they are resettled.

Recently, the OCD has provided electric power and additional latrines to families living at the “tent city." Landfill materials are provided to improve the muddy grounds at the site. (SONNY SALES)