ZAMBOANGA CITY – The number of those killed following the effects of inclement weather in Zamboanga City has risen to 9, a government official said Saturday.
Elmeir Apolinario, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said there were five fatalities reported in Barangays Labuan, Sibulao, Maasin, and Pamucutan after they were swept away by floodwaters.
A couple was also killed in Barangay Sinunuc after an enormous balete tree uprooted by strong winds struck their residence.
A boy was killed in the same village due to electrocution.
In Barangay Taluksangay, one person was killed after being struck by lightning.
Apolinario said there were 23 barangays affected by the bad weather, which resulted in landslides, flooding, and strong winds that toppled streetlights and power lines.
More than 4,000 families, or 21,189 individuals, evacuated their homes.
Total damage to infrastructure, agricultural products, and fisheries have reached more than P175 million.
Almost 2,500 farmers were affected by the calamity, which covered more than 2,651 hectares of farmlands as well as fishponds.
Nene Bayan, the official in charge of the Zamboanga City Social Welfare and Development Office, said more than 80 percent of the evacuees have gone home after floodwaters started to recede Friday.
But some 200 families in Barangay Labuan had to remain in evacuation centers as they lost their homes to destructive storm surges that hit the coast.
The city government of Zamboanga had declared a state of calamity following the devastation brought by bad weather.
State weather bureau PAGASA said the low-pressure area and Typhoon “Paolo” contributed to strong winds and heavy rains that battered the city over the past week.