Siocon under state of calamity after storm 'Vinta'

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2017 01:06 AM

The municipality of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte has been placed under a state of calamity due to the widespread damage brought by tropical storm "Vinta".

Almost 300 houses along riverbanks were destroyed by floodwater that submerged many villages in Siocon.

Eight people were killed in the flashflood, while two others remain missing.

Siocon Mayor Julius Lobrigas said many residents living along the riverbanks did not heed their warning.

Lives could have been saved if they evacuated days before "Vinta" made landfall, he said.

After the floodwater receded, it left thick mud that almost covered the entire town. The damaged water supply system also kept the clearing operation at slow pace. 

Power supply, on the other hand, is limited after several electric post were knocked down by "Vinta."

The local government unit has requested the local distribution utility to speed up the repair of power lines.

Joel Alasco, head of Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said Vinta destroyed 2,000 hectares of rice fields.

Many farmers, he said, have resorted to alternative work to earn a living. Thousands of bags of unhusked rice were also soaked in floodwater.