By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Around 167 houses in Negros Occidental were destroyed while more than 600 suffered extensive damage due to the effects of the southwest monsoon or habagat enhanced by Super Typhoon “Egay.”
Based on data released by the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD), a total of 622 houses suffered damage due to floods, heavy rains and strong winds.
As of Wednesday, July 26, around 100 houses were damaged in the cities of Cadiz and Silay, as well as in the municipalities of San Enrique, Pontevedra and Hinoba-an.
A house was destroyed while two others suffered extensive damage in Barangays Old Sagay, Poblacion 2, Tadlong, and Puey in Sagay City, its disaster risk reduction management office reported.
PDMPD head, Irene Bel Ploteña said around 479 families or 1,764 individuals are still staying in various evacuation centers in Silay, Cadiz, Pontevedra, San Enrique, and Hinoba-an, including the municipalities of Valladolid, Pulupandan, Cauayan, Isabela, and Murcia, and Sipalay City.
Ploteña added that several residents in Hinoba-an evacuated due to a landslide.
She said the PDMPD monitors all water tributaries and rivers in the province, as water has already subsided to normal levels.
She added that rain showers could still be experienced in some parts of the province until today.
Earlier, the PDMPD confirmed two fatalities — one each in Murcia and Hinigaran town — brought by the severe weather conditions.
The local Coast Guard Substation in Hinigaran recovered the remains of Arnold Billojan, a resident of the town’s Barangay Aranda, on Wednesday.
Billohan went missing shortly after attending a friend’s birthday party, according to Lieutenant Junior Grade Carla Mayang, commander of Coast Guard Station-Southern Negros Occidental.
He was found floating around 50 meters off the coast by a local fisherman.
In Murcia, the remains of 19-year-old Richard Espinosa, a resident of Purok Monarch, floated in the river.
Town police said the victim was believed to have accidentally fallen into the river while trying to lead his carabao to a safer spot./DGB, WDJ