State of calamity eyed for landslide-hit village in Iloilo

ILOILO CITY — The far-flung and uphill village of Igpigus, Igbaras, Iloilo may be placed under state of calamity within the week due to landslide as a result of continuous rains brought about by the southwest monsoon.

In an interview, Mayor Vicente Escorpion said that he wanted the village to be put under state of calamity as many families have already been affected by the continuous landslide.

As of noon Monday, Escorpion said that 47 houses were destroyed, 18 of which were buried in the mudslide although no one was hurt or died.

A total of 61 families, or 223 individuals, have been evacuated.

Some of these evacuees are staying at the barangay (village) hall, at Igpigus Elementary School or with their relatives.

Escorpion assured that the families were provided with food and other necessities.

The number of affected residents is more than 20 percent of the 848 total population of the village of Igpigus, Escorpion said.

“That is why I advised the village chief to put their barangay under state of calamity so they could use their calamity fund,” he said.

Igpigus village chief John Noe Tacan said necessary documents are being prepared for their village to be put under state of calamity.

“We are now gathering all the data because it is not yet complete,” he said.

Tacan said that they might place their village under state of calamity on August 11. He said that they are closely coordinating with Escorpion and the members of the municipal board.

Once declared, he said they could utilize their PHP22,000 calamity fund.

The house of Tacan is among those damaged by the landslide in Igpigus, which started in the morning of August 4.

Escorpion earlier said that during the visit of personnel from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Western Visayas (MGB-6) last year, the group already found out that there was a one kilometer crack on the uphill area where the landslide occurred.

The mayor said 90 percent of the total villages in their town are prone to landslide while the remaining 10 percent, composed of villages near the town proper are prone to flooding.

He said there are plans to relocate the victims to ensure their safety. Cindy Ferrer/PNA-northboundasia.com