FLOODS, LANDSLIDES HIT MINDANAO

Five persons were reported missing in Agusan del Norte after continuous rains brought by a low-pressure area for the past days caused floods and landslides in the province and other parts of Southern Mindanao where residents were evacuated to safer ground. According to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), close to 500 families fled their homes over the weekend after overflowing rivers closed roads and flooded thousands of houses in some parts of the region. The Agusan del Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Management said that five persons were reported missing in Carmen, Agusan del Norte. The missing were not immediately identified. Members of the Carmen police and the 29th Infantry Battalion of the Army launched search and rescue operations for the missing residents in Barangay Tagcatong after a landslide occurred in the village following heavy rains since Friday. More than 800 residents were evacuated from their flooded villages in Bislig City and San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Landslides and floods have also closed portions of the national highway in Barobo and Tagbina towns in Surigao del Sur.

ALSO: National Day of prayer declared in typhoon-hit areas

“President Aquino will lead the nation in prayer in a simple program to be held in Malacañang,” he said. Coloma said the declaration serves as a call for all sectors to pray for the country, which was battered by successive calamities last year. In his toast during the vin d’honneur held last Friday, Aquino said the Filipinos’ constant faith in God enabled them to weather the disasters that confronted them. “Some of you have marveled at the resilience of our nation, a people whose faith, though challenged, remains constant and only deepened. Our unbreakable spirit and ability to recover find root in our firm belief in a benevolent God who has the perfect plan for all of us,” he said. “These tragedies tell us that despite all our efforts, we are indeed powerless without God,” he added. Among the disasters that hit the country last year were the armed conflict in Zamboanga between Moro National Liberation Front forces and government troops, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Bohol and Super Typhoon Yolanda which hit Leyte and nearby areas. Meanwhile, Malacañang lauded the rehabilitation efforts initiated by private individuals in the Visayas. Coloma cited Marie Ann Corsino, who helped 79 families rebuild their homes in Dulag, Leyte.

ALSO: Rising in Bohol: Quake-proof houses

An artist’s design of Habitat for Humanity houses for earthquake-prone areas like Bohol. The design makes use of environment-friendly bamboo and cement meshed in steel bars. An artist’s design of Habitat for Humanity houses for earthquake-prone areas like Bohol. The design makes use of environment-friendly bamboo and cement meshed in steel bars. Its frame is made of lightweight steel. Its walls and flooring are a combination of bamboo mesh and wire mesh with cement overlay. It is earthquake proof. These are the main features of the prototype of the house Habitat for Humanity Philippines has been teaching people in Bohol province to build. In October, a 7.2-magnitude tremor left thousands of Boholanos homeless. Many still live in tent cities. Habitat for Humanity is rushing the construction of the houses for the quake victims this year. The houses are being built by their future occupants so that they could better appreciate their homes and take better care of them. Habitat volunteers assist the locals put up the houses, allowing for closer supervision and tighter quality control. During the building process, Habitat is able to impart the proper values of responsibility and caring to the future home recipients while enlightening them on the urgency of using environmentally friendly technologies, designs and materials.


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Floods, Landslides hit Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, JANUARY 13, 2014 (PHILSTAR) Five persons were reported missing in Agusan del Norte after continuous rains brought by a low-pressure area for the past days caused floods and landslides in the province and other parts of Southern Mindanao where residents were evacuated to safer ground.

According to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), close to 500 families fled their homes over the weekend after overflowing rivers closed roads and flooded thousands of houses in some parts of the region.

The Agusan del Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Management said that five persons were reported missing in Carmen, Agusan del Norte.

The missing were not immediately identified.

Members of the Carmen police and the 29th Infantry Battalion of the Army launched search and rescue operations for the missing residents in Barangay Tagcatong after a landslide occurred in the village following heavy rains since Friday.

More than 800 residents were evacuated from their flooded villages in Bislig City and San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Landslides and floods have also closed portions of the national highway in Barobo and Tagbina towns in Surigao del Sur.

All flights were cancelled while travel by all types of sea vessels were suspended in the Caraga region particularly in Butuan and Surigao cities.

However, there was no report of casualties due to the floods in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley but residents in certain areas in Davao City were also evacuated.

Preemptive evacuation was also implemented in villages considered to be prone to floods and landslides.

OCD reported that in Davao del Norte, the areas affected were the towns of Asuncion, Sitio Canatan, Poblacion Napungas, Doña Andrea, Camansa, Liguyan, and Buan, while in Compostela Valley, affected were Monkayo, Mt. Diwata, Laak, Nabunturan, Magsaysay, Purok Magading 12, Purok 5 in New Visayas in Montevista, Compostela town, and New Bataan.

Roads in El Salvador, New Corella and Asuncion in Davao del Norte were also closed due to landslides in Davao del Norte.

The San Roque, New Bataan, Limbo, Compostela Valley, and Asuncion rivers overflowed.

The OCD reported that several roads and bridges in Compostela Valley were not passable to all types of vehicles as of Sunday morning due to flooding.

Several roads in Compostela Valley were also closed to traffic including Barangay Binuangan in Maco town, Sitio Pagsilaan in Andap, New Bataan; barangays Tamia, Mangayon and Ngan of Compostela town, and the national highway in Poblacion Monkayo.

Bridges that were closed in Compostela Valley were the Coco Bridge at Mayo River in Andap, New Bataan; and the bridge at Manat River in Montevista.

Flashfloods were reported in areas located along Manat River in Montevista town that included Purok 8 in barangays Magsaysay and Magading and Purok 7 in Barangay Basak in Nabunturan town, and Sitio Looban and Crossing Mendoza in Barangay Kingking in Pantukan.

Low-pressure area

Weather division chief Robert Sawi of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the low-pressure area (LPA) was spotted in the vicinity of Surigao del Sur as of 4 p.m. yesterday City.

"Although it has a slim chance of intensifying into a cyclone, the LPA is expected to bring more rains over Visayas and the Bicol region today (Monday) until Wednesday," Sawi said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has already categorized the system as a tropical depression.

State weathermen said the cold weather in the country prevents the LPA from intensifying into a cyclone.

As of 11 a.m., the LPA was spotted at 190 kilometers east of General Santos City.

In an advisory, PAGASA said cloudy skies with moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms will prevail over Mindanao, especially Caraga region and Compostela Valley, Leyte and Samar provinces, Negros provinces, Cebu and Bohol in the next 24 hours, which may trigger flashfloods and landslides.

"Residents are advised to take all the necessary precautionary measures," it said.

PAGASA also warned against big waves in northern and eastern Luzon, Visayas, Caraga, Misamis provinces, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur due to the surge of the northeast monsoon.

"Small seacraft and fishing vessels are advised not to venture out to sea due to the big waves generated by this weather system," PAGASA said.

The agency said Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon would be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported that a magnitude 4.5 earthquake rocked parts of Surigao del Sur yesterday but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, state seismologists said.

Phivolcs said the tremor occurred at 10:20 a.m. with its epicenter traced about 24 kilometers southeast of Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

The quake was felt at Intensity 3 in Tandag and Intensity 2 in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

Phivolcs said it was not expecting major damage and aftershocks from the quake.

A magnitude 3.4 quake also hit Labrador, Pangasinan yesterday but it was unfelt, Phivolcs said.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo called on residents and local officials in the Visayas and Mindanao to brace for more heavy rains until Monday or Tuesday.

"Let us learn from typhoon Yolanda. It is necessary for everyone to prepare and take caution whenever warned about hazards like flashfloods and landslides to achieve our target of zero casualties and minimal damage. Let us always be vigilant," Montejo said.

He advised all concerned to keep monitoring updates from PAGASA, as he ordered the weather bureau to issue a regular advisory on the LPA every six hours until threat is finally ruled out.

Citing the latest data from PAGASA, he said the LPA is likely to stay stationary over the Visayas and Mindanao, which may bring more rains until Monday or Tuesday in some areas like Caraga, Compostela Valley, Eastern Visayas and Bicol. -With Helen Flores, Rainier Allan Ronda, Alexis Romero, Ben Serrano

National Day of prayer declared in typhoon-hit areas

PHILSTAR, MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has declared Jan. 20 as a National Day of Prayer and Solidarity to highlight the Filipinos’ strong faith in God, which President Aquino had credited for the resiliency of disaster victims.

Incidentally, the event will coincide with the 13th anniversary of EDSA II, which ousted former President Joseph Estrada and catapulted Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino’s political rival, to power.

However, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. did not mention any reference to EDSA II when he explained why Malacañang made such declaration.

“The National Day of Prayer and Solidarity with the theme ‘One Nation in Prayer’ will be held as the Filipino people’s way of recognizing the power of the Almighty God who guides us in our journey towards a brighter future,” Coloma told radio dzRB yesterday.

“President Aquino will lead the nation in prayer in a simple program to be held in Malacañang,” he said.

Coloma said the declaration serves as a call for all sectors to pray for the country, which was battered by successive calamities last year.

In his toast during the vin d’honneur held last Friday, Aquino said the Filipinos’ constant faith in God enabled them to weather the disasters that confronted them.

“Some of you have marveled at the resilience of our nation, a people whose faith, though challenged, remains constant and only deepened. Our unbreakable spirit and ability to recover find root in our firm belief in a benevolent God who has the perfect plan for all of us,” he said.

“These tragedies tell us that despite all our efforts, we are indeed powerless without God,” he added.

Among the disasters that hit the country last year were the armed conflict in Zamboanga between Moro National Liberation Front forces and government troops, the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Bohol and Super Typhoon Yolanda which hit Leyte and nearby areas.

Rehab efforts hailed

Meanwhile, Malacañang lauded the rehabilitation efforts initiated by private individuals in the Visayas.

Coloma cited Marie Ann Corsino, who helped 79 families rebuild their homes in Dulag, Leyte.

FROM MANILA TIMES

Rising in Bohol: Quake-proof houses  January 12, 2014 10:17 pm by ROSE DE LA CRUZ

MANILA -An artist’s design of Habitat for Humanity houses for earthquake-prone areas like Bohol. The design makes use of environment-friendly bamboo and cement meshed in steel bars.

An artist’s design of Habitat for Humanity houses for earthquake-prone areas like Bohol. The design makes use of environment-friendly bamboo and cement meshed in steel bars.

Its frame is made of lightweight steel. Its walls and flooring are a combination of bamboo mesh and wire mesh with cement overlay.

It is earthquake proof.

These are the main features of the prototype of the house Habitat for Humanity Philippines has been teaching people in Bohol province to build.

In October, a 7.2-magnitude tremor left thousands of Boholanos homeless. Many still live in tent cities.

Habitat for Humanity is rushing the construction of the houses for the quake victims this year.

The houses are being built by their future occupants so that they could better appreciate their homes and take better care of them.

Habitat volunteers assist the locals put up the houses, allowing for closer supervision and tighter quality control. During the building process, Habitat is able to impart the proper values of responsibility and caring to the future home recipients while enlightening them on the urgency of using environmentally friendly technologies, designs and materials.

Habitat has come up with four designs for houses in earthquake-prone areas like Bohol.

The prototypes are gender-sensitive: they have two bedrooms with indicative costs of P70,000 and P75,000 from the ground; P80,000 slightly elevated and P10, 000 with bigger area.

The roofs are not the traditional flat GI sheets, but are slightly inclined downward and the windows are wide pullout bamboo mesh with wire mesh supported by a thin long piece of lumber.

Steel frames are preferred over coco lumber because only 400 board feet of steel is required per house, compared to 250 board feet of coco lumber. Besides, the quality and size of coconut trunks is not consistent.

The bamboo for the walls and floors come from bamboo plantations and are cheaper and environmentally friendly, compared with plywood (made from hardwood species). Besides, bamboo does not peel off.

Each house has a floor area of 20 square meters made from lightweight steel framing system with the flooring made from concrete/purlins with bamboo slats, the roof with GI and corrugated roofing.

The exterior walls are treated bamboo (sigkat) or cement plastered; the toilet and bath are the pail flush type toilet bowls.

Plumbing is wastewater line and windows are wooden/aluminum or jalousie frame or smoke glass.

In Loon, Bohol, the indicative cost of a house funded by donations form the Union Bank of the Philippines is P120,000 and the half concrete cladding design is P75,000.

In addition, there will be row houses and resettlement houses for the informal settlers.

Funding for the housing comes from local and foreign donors, many of them celebrities who have generously given their time, money and connections to raise funds for such an undertaking.

Just recently, Habitat for Humanity Philippines and Union Bank of the Philippines partnered to build houses in Barangay Catagbacan in Loon. The bank donated P10 million to the earthquake victims there.

As Habitat for Housing Philippines Managing Director/CEO Charlie Ayco said: “Habitat brings communities together and brings hope. We can dream that everyone in Bohol has a decent place to live in or we can start building that dream now. We are very grateful that Bohol has not been forgotten in spite of the other disasters that have come after.”

“Let us rebuild lives not only in Tacloban, Samar, Cebu, but let us not forget our kababayans in Zamboanga and Bohol,” Ayco added.

The donation will cover 70 families with core housing units made of bamboo and cement—a combination that Habitat developed and was first used in Cagayan de Oro. Another 100 families will benefit from the Shelter Repair Kits to repair their partially damaged homes.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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