MANILA - The mayor of Marikina City on Saturday appealed for help for residents whose homes and livelihood were buried by thick mud following massive flooding in the city because of Typhoon Ulysses.
“Manghihingi po ako ng tulong para sa mga kababayan ko. Marami pa po kaming mga evacuees na nananatili sa evacuation center. Marami pong mga bata, sanggol, kababaihan, iba buntis, marami rin po kaming matatanda na nasa evacuation centers. Pagkain po ang kailangan namin, tubig na maiinom, gamot o vitamins, mga diaper at gamit po ng mga bata,” Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said.
(I am appealing for help on behalf of our residents. We still have a lot of evacuees in our evacuation centers. We have many children, babies, women, pregnant women, and senior citizens. We need food, drinking water, vitamins, diapers and other baby essentials.)
In an interview on TeleRadyo, Teodoro urged donors to directly send their donations to any of their 49 evacuation centers.
“Mabuti na 'yung mga kababayan natin diretsong pumunta sa evacuation center. Kung maari sila na rin po mamahagi po mayroon naman pong sistema ng pamamahagi sa evacuation center, may health protocol tayong ipinatutupad," he said.
(It’s better if they go straight to the evacuation centers, they can help too, we have a distribution system at the evacuation centers and health protocol is being implemented.)
But the mayor admitted that health protocols against COVID-19 is secondary to their priorities now due to the problems they are facing.
“Kailangan mag-survive muna. 'Yung gutom nararamdaman na ng mga kababayan namin,” he said.
(We need to survive first. Hunger is now being felt by our residents.)
Aside from food, Teodoro also appealed to the private sector and organizations for assistance in terms of heavy equipment, particularly payloaders or skid loaders, to help clear roads from the thick mud and debris left by the flood.
“Napakahirap ng kalagayan namin ngayon. Wala na 'yung tubig baha ang naiwan sa amin makapal na putik kaya marami sa taga-Marikina ang nananatili sa evacuation center at patuloy kaming naglilinis ng mga kabahayan at higit sa lahat 'yung mga kalsada na patungo sa mga komunidad na pinanggalingan nila."
(Our current situation is very difficult. There is no more flood but what was left is thick mud that’s why many residents are staying in evacuation centers and we continue to clean-up houses and even roads going to communities.)
Marikina was among the worst-hit cities, with hundreds of residents climbing on roofs, asking to be rescued, as flood waters rose quickly, leaving houses and cars submerged in murky water.
The local government estimates around 30,000 to 40,000 families were affected by the massive flooding. Even their wet market is now submerged in thick mud making it hard for their residents to access food and water.
“Napakahirap, kasi nasa gitna tayo ng pandemic, marami ang walang trabaho, naghihirap na, tapos ito pa binaha ang Marikina,” said Teodoro.
(It’s really difficult because we're in the middle of a pandemic and many are out of work, they are really struggling already, and now this flood that hit Marikina.)
Teodoro still wants to know where the water that inundated the city came from. He said the water level at the Marikina River exceeded that of Ondoy.
“Kaya nagtataka kami saan galing 'yung tubig at 'yun ang inihahanap namin ng eksplanasyon hindi para mangsisi, para magawa 'yung corresponding mitigating and preparedness measures,” he said.
(We wonder where all that water came from and that’s why we're looking for an explanation, not to point blame on anyone but to be able to make corresponding mitigating and preparedness measures.)