Sunday, February 06, 2011

Jolo flood recedes, rehab begins

A father and his son in Jolo. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 6, 2011) – Flood waters have receded in the southern Philippine town of Jolo after flash flood swept away houses and left 5 people dead, officials told the Mindanao Examiner on Sunday.

Officials said some areas are still flooded, but unlike it was two days ago where waters reached as high as five feet.

“The flood is receding, but there are some areas in Jolo like the village of Asturias where water is still waist deep. Five people had died in the flash flood. The situation is now normal and we are slowly putting back lour lives together here,” Mayor Hussin Amin said by phone from Jolo.

Other reports said seven people, including a child, had perished from the flash flood, but official figure put the toll at five. More than 300 houses were also destroyed by rampaging flood waters in Jolo and villagers reported that a freak tornado and tidal waves hit the coast on Friday.

Fazlur Abdullah, head of the Sulu Provincial Area Coordinating Council, said they have distributed relief goods to those affected by the flooding. He said the governor of Sulu, Sakur Tan, ordered the release of relief goods immediate after security forces and volunteers rescued villagers trapped in their houses.

“We have been working on a 24-hour shift to ensure that the refugees are taken cared of, especially the children,” Abdullah said.

Some locals have blamed the failure of the regional government in putting up a drainage system in Jolo, especially in Asturias, which was worst hit by flood. Sulu is one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.

There is also little or not enough development and infrastructure projects for Sulu from the Muslim autonomous region, whose governor and other clan members are facing corruption and multiple murder charges for the brutal killings of 57 people in 2009. (Mindanao Examiner)

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