Tropical depression Vicky leaves 148 families in Lapu-Lapu homeless

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A TOTAL of 148 families or 365 individuals living in the coastal area of Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City were forced to evacuate after waves brought about by tropical depression Vicky destroyed their homes on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

Affected residents of Sitios Apro, Tacan and Seaside were brought to a nearby public school and are now under the care of the City Government, said Nagiel Bañacia, head of the City’s Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

Bañacia said majority of houses that were destroyed were made of light materials.

As the three sitios are highly susceptible to storm surges, he said the City won’t allow the evacuees to rebuild their homes there.

He said the City has assured affected residents that they will be relocated to a safer place and will be provided with construction materials.

Aside from Ibo, Bañacia said they also received reports that huge waves battered the coast of Olango Island, damaging two houses in Barangay Caw-oy and destroying five houses in Barangay Talima.

Families living in the affected barangays have also been evacuated, Bañacia said.

Fisherfolk in the two barangays also lost 64 pump boats to the huge waves.

No one was killed or hurt during the incident, Bañacia said.

Annabeth Cuizon, head of the City Social Welfare and Services (CSWS), said they will provide packed meals good for three days to the evacuees.

They will also distribute food packs and conduct an assessment for the evacuees’ shelter assistance that the local government will provide, she said.

Cuizon said they still need to verify the number of houses that were destroyed and damaged.

Residents of Barangay Ibo told Cuizon that it was the first time their houses were swept away by big waves.

On Saturday afternoon, Cuizon and other CSWS personnel went to Olango Island to check on residents.

They brought with them food packs containing canned goods, noodles, sachets of milk and other essential goods to give to affected families, especially since many of them lost their livelihood to the storm.

In his official Facebook page, Mayor Junard Chan reminded residents living along the shore that it’s not safe.

He said the City will fast-track the construction of its social housing project in Barangay Canjulao so evacuees can relocate there.

Bañacia told SunStar Cebu that Chan will also replace the damaged fishing boats in Olango Island.

The budget for the new boats will be taken from the City’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management fund, Bañacia said.

In Cebu Province, tropical storm Vicky brought heavy rain, strong winds and huge waves, affecting 1,105 individuals in eight local government units.

Based on a report provided by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), there were storm surges in the towns of Argao, Boljoon, Compostela, Dalaguete and Dumanjug and in Danao City.

The waves destroyed 42 non-motorized boats in Compostela and Boljoon and 25 houses in Dalaguete.

Two fishermen from Sibonga went missing on Friday. They were rescued by emergency personnel off the shore of Barangay Taloot in the neighboring town of Argao the next day.

In Talisay City, minor landslides were reported in the mountain barangays of Campo 4 and Manipis.

Campo 4 Barangay Captain Rowena Edar said one occurred right across the barangay hall on Friday night.

Manipis Barangay Captain Joselito Laurente told Superbalita Cebu that landslides took place in Sitios Languyon and Telepono.

No one was hurt.

Minor landslides also occurred in Barangay Tabionan in San Fernando.

All evacuated residents are being cared for by their respective local government units, the PDRRMO said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard lifted the suspension of sea travel after lowering the tropical cyclone warning signal.

Tropical depression Vicky is heading westward and is about to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

As of Saturday morning, sea trips to Masbate, Surigao, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, Leyte and Escalante City in Negros Occidental could resume.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Vicky continues to move towards the northern-central portion of Palawan.

As of 1 p.m. on Saturday, only the northern and central portions of Palawan were placed under a tropical cyclone warning signal.

Vicky has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

Vicky is forecast to remain a tropical depression while crossing the Philippine archipelago. However, it is expected to intensify into a tropical storm once it reaches the West Philippine Sea. (KFD, ANV, BBT / JKV, WBS)