CALBAYOG CITY- A week after the devastation caused by of tropical depression “Usman” this city, affected residents are starting to rebuild what they had lost during the disaster.
Letecia Garalza, a teacher in Barangay Cag-anahaw, a remote village in the city, blames the rampant illegal logging in their village as the cause of the floods that they have experienced.
“Illegal logging in Cag-anahaw is rampant, I don’t know what the government is doing about that,” Garalza said in an interview.
She further added that there were people coming from government offices who visit their village and just took photos of the logs that were illegally cut.
“Employees from certain government agency came to Cag-anahaw and took photos on the logs that were illegally cut but we don’t know what happened after that as illegal activity still continues,” Garalza added.
Cag-anahaw can be reached through a 3-hour walk from Tarabucan, a village which is almost an hour travel from the city proper.
Garalza shared that they did not expect that the flood spawned by Usman would reach up to the ceiling of their houses.
“This is the first time that it happened in our village. We really did not expect this,” she added.
Garalza said that a landslide occurred during the heavy downpour that resulted to flashfloods.
At least 87 houses of almost one hundred houses in the village were washed out by the flood.
“We just built temporary houses as our shield at this time. We cannot even hold classes as our classrooms were being used by the evacuees,” Garalza said.
As of now, relief operations coming from the city government and even from private donors already reached the village.
Still, the residents of the village are still appealing for more help.
“We are asking for help to rebuild our houses. What we need right now are materials for the construction of our houses,” Garalza said.
For Garalza, the past year was something that she could not forget but she remains hopeful that the New Year will bring some good things to their village.
“We welcomed 2019 crying for what happened to us but we are positive for the good things to come this year,” Garalza said.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) reported that at least five persons from the village died while the one fatality is from Brgy. Cabatuan.
Three are still missing, all are residents of Cag-anahaw. (JENNIFER D.SUMAGANG-ALLEGADO)