Heavy rains brought on by the northeast monsoon and the tail-end of the cold front triggered flooding in four cities and one town in Negros Occidental yesterday, stalling traffic in the north for hours, causing thousands to evacuate, and, in Bacolod City, the drowning of a 12-year-old girl.
The body of the girl, who was still unidentified as of press time, was seen floating in a river near the St. Scholastica’s Academy in Bacolod yesterday afternoon and was later retrieved by the city’s 117 rescue team in Purok Puerto, Eroreco, in Barangay Mandalagan, at 4:55 p.m., Joemarie Vargas, action officer of the City Disaster Coordinating Council, said.
Rodrigo Tubilid, 49, was rescued by residents from the Lupit River in Barangay 27 yesterday, he added.
Heavy rains exacerbated by high tide caused the flooding in Bacolod City and other parts of Negros Occidental, Vargas said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia who went to Dumaguete City to attend the funeral of Negros Oriental Governor Agustin Perdices, said they were monitoring the flooding situation from there and had instructed their personnel to give relief assistance to those affected.
“This is not just an issue of the drainage system, but of climate change at its worse,” Leonardia said, citing the heavy flooding in northern Negros and even in Australia.
In Bacolod City, waters rose in 26 puroks in eight barangays and a portion of Lacson Street in Bacolod City, Vargas said.
As of press time no evacuations had been reported in Bacolod and water had subsided in some areas, he said.
Flooding occurred in barangays Taculing, Bata, Banago, 3, 4, 6, Mandalagan and Tangub, Vargas said.
Flooding was also noted along Lacson Street from 9th to 14th street and the highway fronting Villa Valderama in Bacolod, he said.
During high tide at 3 p.m. water from the Matab-ang River in Talisay City overflowed causing law enforcers to briefly stop small vehicles from passing the road at the boundary of Talisay and Bacolod, Vargas said.
Water also overflowed from the Matagoy creek in Barangay Rizal, Silay City, cutting off travel to northern Negros and vice versa late yesterday, Silay Mayor Jose Montelibano said.
Stranded vehicles covered several kilometers, said DAILY STAR reporter Gilbert Bayoran, who waited for the traffic to move in the Matagoy area for more than five hours.
Bayoran who left the DAILY STAR office in Bacolod City for EB Magalona at about 5 p.m. reached his home at 10:30 p.m.
“Traffic was moving at 5 meters every 15 to 20 minutes,” Bayoran said.
A Ceres Bus passenger stranded at the Matagoy area also said she waded through water up to her chest to safer ground.
Flooding also caused evacuations in Talisay, Silay and Victorias cities and EB Magalona town, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office reported.
Flooding caused 1,139 families to evacuate in Talisay City and 100 families in Silay City, while in Victorias, figures were not available as of press time.
Flooding in Victorias was in Canetown, Victorias Milling Co., barangays 19, 19 a, 13, 9, 17, 18 and 6, the PSWDO report showed.
Marañon said he was informed that VMC had to stop milling because of the floods.
The EB Magalona town hall served as a refuge for those traveling south, including Provincial Social Welfare Officer Liane Garcia who was headed for Bacolod, and 37 Don Bosco students headed home to Silay.
Twelve families from Barangay San Jose in EB Magalona evacuated to the Wilkinson Social Court where they were provided with food assistance, Mayor David Lacson said.
He said 1,393 other families were also affected by flooding in barangays 3, Tabigue, Damgo and Sto. Niño in EB Magalona.*CPG