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2. LOCAL INSTITUTIONS RESPONSE TO RECENT NATURAL HAZARDS


2.1 HAZARD EVENTS - 1990 AND 2000

2.1.1 Typhoon Ruping, November 1990

One of the most intense and destructive tropical cyclones of 1990 that wrecked havoc in central Philippines is typhoon "Ruping", which entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on 10 November 1990 from the western Pacific Ocean (Figure 6). It slowly moved towards the west-south-westward, made its landfall in Leyte, and crossed the Visayas on November 13. Packing maximum winds of around 220 kilometers per hour, Ruping devastated the provinces of Cebu, Negros, Iloilo and Bohol. The supertyphoon exited in the South China Sea towards Vietnam. Aside from devastating winds, Ruping also generated significant amount of rainfall that resulted to flooding in most areas. In Iloilo, several days of heavy rains caused the swelling of the Jalaur River that inundated low-lying areas (Figure 7).

Figure 6. Track of Typhoon Ruping, November 1990

Figure 7. Daily rainfall values, Iloilo City during the passage of Typhoon Ruping, 10-15 November 1990

There was no record at the Municipal Hall of local government action done during the event. Residents of barangay Barasan, however, still clearly remember the event, as this is one of the strong typhoons that gravely affected their livelihoods. Rice crop, which was ready for harvest, was damaged, and animals (chickens, ducks and hogs) died due to hypothermia.

2.1.2 Typhoon Ulpiang, December 2000

Although one of the weakest tropical cyclone in terms of wind strength to hit the country during the last quarter of the year, Typhoon Ulpiang battered Western Visayas on 7 December 2000 when it dumped huge amount of rainfall leaving several people dead, millions of damaged properties and hundreds of families homeless. Several days of incessant rains inundated the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo. Typhoon Ulpiang formed in the central Philippine Sea on the morning of December 6, and cut across central Philippines where it degenerated into a low pressure area on the morning of December 8. Figure 8 shows the track of tropical depression Ulpiang.

Figure 8. Track of Typhoon Ulpiang, December 2000

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Figure 9 shows the rainfall brought by tropical depression Ulpiang at Roxas City and Iloilo City PAGASA stations. Compared with the long-term average, the December 6 and 7 rainfall at Roxas City are way above normal while at Iloilo City, rainfall on the same days are near the normal values. Although relatively lower rains fell, flooding experienced in Dumangas could be attributed to the swelling of the Jalaur River brought about by large amounts of rainfall that occurred in the upstream areas (represented by the Roxas station).

Figure 9. Amount of rainfall from the passage of tropical depression Ulpiang, December 2000

Residents of barangay Balud still vividly remember the flooding event of December 2000. They said that floods of this same magnitude have happened 3-4 times in 10 years. The floodwaters current was strong. Houses were partially damaged. One person drowned. All households were affected.

The barangay Hall was used for evacuation, but it was small and cannot accommodate more than 5-10 families (Photo 6). Most stayed with others whose dwellings have a second floor.

The barangay was isolated, as houses, farmlands and roads were under water.

The barangay used its calamity fund for medicine and food. Partially damaged dwellings were repaired by residents themselves (e.g. reinforcing structures with bamboo poles). The municipal government also provided galvanized iron sheet for roofing.

There was incidence of diarrhea, colds and cough, especially in children. The municipal government sent a doctor and health workers on a medical mission to the barangay and other affected communities.

The respondents felt that it takes time to recover losses when disaster strikes. Some resorted to borrowing from relatives and friends who have money to spare. Those who earn from odd jobs in construction sites cannot resume their activity until things have gone back to "normal".

Photo 6.. Focused group discussion with barangay Balud residents at the barangay Hall

According to respondents in barangay Maquina, typhoon Ulpiang brought floods that destroyed about 20 houses located near the riverbanks, killed all their poultry due to hypothermia, and caused 100% loss in rice crop. They said that had there been no warning given, even their household items would have been destroyed as well. There were, however, two farmers who did not heed the warning, and were caught unprepared. They did not have access to potable water and food and, although their neighbors did not approve of their negligence, these neighbors shared food and water in the spirit of pakikipagkapwa.

2.2 LOCAL INSTITUTION RESPONSE

The account of the community and municipal government activities before, during and after the disaster is presented in Table 13.

Table 13. Community and municipal government account of the December 2000 flood

Date

Community activities: barangay Maquina

Government activities

Pre-disaster phase



5 December 2000, 08:00


Called the attention of all Punong barangays for vigilance in monitoring the water level at Jalaur River, and to always monitor weather reports from PAGASA through commercial radio stations.

Warning of impending flood was received by handheld radio network. The Punong barangay mobilized the BDCC, which promptly informed all community members to prepare for the impending flood.

Advised Punong Brangays to disseminate the information to constituents so that they can prepare their livestock and poultry, belongings for possible future action.

09:00

The BDCC initiated the following preparatory actions:

· Prepared raft from banana trunk and bamboo

Coordinated with the National Irrigation Administration on the water level situation upstream at the Jalaur-Suage dam (Dingle municipality).

14:00

· Arranged for the use of private vehicles for evacuation

Called an integrated meeting with MDCC, DREAM, communicators group, etc. to prepare all necessary materials and equipment for disaster operation, and to maximize information dissemination.

16:00


Evacuation centers checked for readiness.

18:00
onwards


Continuous monitoring of water level at Jalaur River.

19:00


Asked assistance of Bombo Radyo, a popular commercial radio station in the province to inform people of possible flooding.

6 December 2000, 08:00

Warning for evacuation was received.

The BDCC asked people near riverbanks to move to higher ground.

Issued warning for evacuation especially those living at the banks of the Jalaur River.

08:30

The BDCC prepared the evacuation center - cooking utensils needed, rope access to the evacuation center, used clothing, beddings, including tents if more room would be needed. The six-room school building was used as an evacuation center.

Called the Municipal Economic Council for a meeting; made arrangements for them to allow acquisition of goods and other materials needed for disaster-related operations on loan.

14:00

The following preparatory actions were undertaken by the community:

· Secured potable water, food and cooking utensils for bringing to the evacuation center or to higher ground

Called the Municipal Health Office, Philippine National Police (PNP) and volunteers for a meeting on possible action if and when the water level at the Jalaur River continues to rise.

15:00

· Put household items and other things on higher ground

· Transferred animals to higher ground

Directed the DREAM to organize themselves into several teams in coordination with the communicators group, the PNP and the volunteers, and conduct patrol on barangay clusters.

onwards


Monitored all reports from various sources and made directives to various offices concerned.

17:00

· Started moving to the evacuation center.

Issued a stern warning to evacuate all people and secure their properties which are vulnerable to floods.
Ordered for the acquisition of goods from members of the Economic Council for stocking.

onwards


Continuous monitoring of water level at the Jalaur River.

19:00


The mayor personally checked barangay readiness for the impending flood.

21:00

· Other residents moved to the 2nd floor of their houses.

Ordered all concerned to continue monitoring the Jalaur River and check weather updates.

Disaster Phase



7 December 2000, 03:00


Water overflowed from the Jalaur River, inundating numerous barangays; members of DREAM were stationed at their respective areas of responsibility.

08:00

Reported to the MDCC the situation at the evacuation center (number of people, need for additional food and medicine), and the situation in the community

Convened the Municipal Council for declaration of state of calamity.

10:00


Packed up goods for distribution.

11:00


Distributed goods, medicines, etc. to affected barangays.

12:30


Received reports on insufficiency of potable water in various barangays

13:00


Ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection to fill fire trucks with potable water for distribution to affected barangays.

14:00 onwards

Help came from the municipality 8 hours after request was made. Water and relief goods were delivered using dump trucks.

Stringent monitoring of flood situation.

8 December 2000, 00:00

Evacuees still stayed at the evacuation center

Continuous monitoring of water movement at Jalaur River and of weather updates.

DREAM deployment

09:30


Called the Municipal Treasurer, Budget Officer and Accountant to a meeting regarding the immediate release of the calamity fund.

11:00


Called the Office of Civil Defense for possible extension of rice assistance to the municipality.

12:00


Received reports that some areas could not be penetrated by dump trucks anymore because of high level of floodwaters accompanied by strong current.

12:30


Requested permission from the National Food Authority to allow the municipality the use of its rubber boat in disaster operations.

13:30


Requested the provincial government to lend to the municipality its bigger trucks to transport food items, medicines, etc. to affected barangays.

onwards


Monitoring

9 December 2000, am

Evacuees still stayed at the evacuation center

Called and written provincial, regional and National offices for possible relief assistance.

pm


Deployed the medical team in areas that can already be reached by transportation. Monitoring of water level and weather situation

10 December 2000, am

Evacuees started returning to their homes, and assessed damage on their dwellings. They reported damage to the local DSWD and requested for assistance. Residents whose houses were damaged stayed with relatives or friends.

Water level receding. Initial reports on damages came. Received reports that some residents began returning to their homes. Others whose dwellings were damaged stayed in evacuation centers or with neighbors.

pm


Ordered the Municipal Social Welfare and Development office to facilitate the provision of housing assistance to affected families.

Monitoring of the Jalaur River and of the weather condition.

23:00


Water receded to the level of the Jalaur River.

Post disaster phase



11 December 2000, am


Sent the Municipal Agricultural Officer, Municipal Engineer, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer to assess damages.

Called all offices concerned for a consolidated damage report.

pm


Sent requests for financial assistance to various offices concerned relative to the assessed damage.

Requested the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Provincial Government for the immediate repair of various damaged National and provincial roads.

12 December 2000


Ordered the Municipal Health Office for the conduct of medical missions.

Ordered for the immediate repair and rehabilitation of municipal and barangay roads.

Checked the processing of papers for the provision of housing materials for the flood victims.

31 December 2000

Roofing materials and lumber costing about PHP 2,000 was provided per affected household from 3-4 weeks after the flood subsided.


Respondents are of the view that materials requested for repair of damaged dwellings should be provided immediately to minimize dislocation, and enable them to return to "normalcy". They said that if the barangay could only afford stockpiling housing materials, it would.

2.3 HAZARD EVENTS - 2001 AND 2003

2.3.1 Typhoon Nanang, November 2001

Typhoon Nanang hit Panay Island on 7 November 2001 (Figure 10), bringing torrential rains (Figure 11), which poured over an extensive area. It submerged 14 barangays in Dumangas and affected 1,344 families. Damage to farmlands, fishponds and infrastructure totaled more than PHP 100 million. The increased preparedness of the communities and of the local government led to the decrease in the number of households affected when compared to that in the previous event (Tables 9 and 10).

Figure 10. Track of Typhoon Nanang, 6-10 November 2001

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Figure 11. Daily rainfall at Iloilo synoptic station during the passage of Typhoon Nanang on 7 November 2001. Note the large deviation from the long-term average during November 7 and 8.

2.3.2 Typhoon Chedeng, May 2003

On 25 May 2003 a low pressure area located west of the Luzon Island (northeastern South China Sea) intensified into a tropical depression locally codenamed "Chedeng" ("Linfa" interNationally). Chedeng gained strength as it moved eastward across northern Luzon, and exited at the northern border of the Philippine Area of Responsibility on 9 May 2003 (Figure 12). Although Chedeng developed during the early southwest monsoon season, the typhoon enhanced the southwest flow, dumping significant amounts of rainfall along the western parts of the country that triggered flashfloods in some areas in Iloilo province. Satellite imagery taken on 27 May 2003 revealed the large band of cloudiness associated with the disturbance and the cloudiness associated with the southwest flow that covered Panay Island (Figure 13).

Figure 12. Track of Typhoon Chedeng, May 2003

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SYMBOLS REPRESENT OOZ POSITIONS

Figure 13. Band of cloudiness associated with Typhoon Chedeng and the enhanced southwest flow.

Tropical storm 05W (Linfa) was located west of the Philippines near 16.1 N 120 SE at 06:00 UTC. Linfa has been moving eastward at 7 knots with maximum sustained winds estimated at 45 knots, gusts to 55 knots.

CREDIT: NOAA

Comparison of the average and daily rainfall values from 25-30 May 2003 with the long-term average rainfall values for Dumangas indicate that the six-day rainfall episode is anomalous and is responsible for the unseasonal flashflood that occurred in some areas in Iloilo and especially, Dumangas on 28 May 2003 (Figure 14). Comparison of rainfall in Dumangas and Iloilo City during this period further points to the localized rainfall anomaly as shown in Figure 15. Twenty-five barangays in the municipality were submerged in floodwaters, which affected 377 families (2,244 people) and damaged crops and infrastructure.

Figure 14. Daily vs. long-term average rainfall for May, Dumangas, Iloilo

Figure 15. Daily rainfall in Iloilo City and Dumangas, May 2003

There was no indication of an impending flood since water levels at the Jalaur River and the irrigation canals were relatively low, as the dry season has just ended. Farmers sealed their plots to catch the early rains. This proved detrimental however, as continuous rains, which started on the 24th May and peaked on the 28th May, inundated the farms and affected 25 barangays.

2.4 INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES

Below is the account of the municipal government's and the community's activities in response to the flood disaster (Table 14).

Table 14. Community and municipal government account of the May 2003 flood

Date

Community activities:
barangay Barasan

Government activities

Pre-disaster phase



27 May 2003

It had rained for three straight days. There was no indication of any flooding. Farmlands were not planted yet. Fish in fish farms were ready for harvest.

Water at both the Jalaur River and the irrigation canals were relatively low. There was not any indication of impending flood.

Disaster Phase



28 May 2003, 00:30


Reports came that water levels in the municipality's rivers were rising fast.

Called on all Punong barangays to check on their areas for rise in flood-waters and inform their constituents of the situation. Urged those in most vulnerable locations to immediately move to evacuation centers.

01:30


Received reports that some barangays were already underwater.

Ordered all Punong barangays to wake people up for transfer to evacuation centers, and salvage whatever they can of their properties.

03:30


Called MDCC members for its course of action.

Called the DREAM for deployment to barangays to check situation and assess damage.

Called all driver-employees to report to Municipal Hall immediately for deployment of vehicles to affected barangays.

08:00

Farmlands were inundated - no damage as they were not planted yet. All fishponds were washed out. All stocks were lost.

Called the Municipal Council for the declaration of state of calamity.

09:00

School building and barangay Hall were used as evacuation centers.

Officially reported the declaration of state of calamity to the Office of Civil Defense.

09:30


Called the Economic Council for the acquisition of goods on loan

12:00


Distributed goods and provided potable water to affected areas.

Post disaster phase



29-31 May 2003

Evacuees (about 140 people) stayed at the evacuation centers for three days until floodwaters subsided.

Used barangay calamity fund to buy rice and canned goods. No external assistance was received.

Services received from medical mission sent by the municipal government.

The barangay was without electricity for 5 days.

Finalization of damage assessment.

Requested various National agencies for possible financial assistance to address pressing needs of victims.

Ordered for the conduct of medical missions in affected barangays.

Ordered for immediate repair and rehabilitation of municipal and barangay roads.

In barangay Balud, all farmlands were inundated. Rice crop was not yet flowering. No external assistance was received for crop damage. Farmers replanted from own resources. Three households, which were worst affected, were evacuated to the school building. No other damage was reported. The respondents noted the municipal government's fast delivery of assistance and services. A rubber boat was dispatched to the barangay. Delivery of services is fast due to the improved communication system.

Table 15. Flood victims served by the Social Welfare Department

barangay

No. affected

Served inside evacuation centers

Served outside evacuation centers

Total served


families

people

families

people

families

people

families

people

Balud

21

142

-

-

-

-

-

-

Maquina
(not affected)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Barasan

25

150

4

24

-

-

4

24

Municipal Total

1,428

8,170

109

797

209

1,257

318

1,746

Table 15 indicates that evacuees in barangay Balud were able to provide for themselves.

Early warning for floods is based on the monitoring of water levels at the Jalaur River and the irrigation canals, both at locations in Dumangas and upstream. The May 2003 experience however demonstrated the need for monitoring of conditions at the farmlands as well.

2.5 HOUSEHOLD RESPONSES

Awareness in the two flood-prone barangays (Balud and Maquina) is high. Community members monitor river conditions although such is the task of the BDCC. Most would initiate preparatory actions based on the river conditions observed, even when an official warning has not been issued. Animals, family members, agricultural implements, and personal and household belongings are moved to higher grounds. Children and the elderly are given priority during evacuation. There are those, however, who would move only when they see the floodwaters coming.

Among fishpond operators, when a strong water pressure from rising waters threaten to destroy dikes, hiring of workers to reinforce dikes become a primary concern. This is done despite the higher wages demanded by workers. For fishing communities, however, typhoon forecast and physical evidence of a typhoon coming signal the collection of nets and fishtraps, the reinforcement of unstable houses, the movement of bancas to higher areas of the coastline, and the setting up of a net at the shoreline to catch fish that overflow from fishponds during flooding.

The BDCC, with its clearly delineated roles, made local management of disasters organized, from hazard monitoring and warning dissemination, to evacuation, relief and rehabilitation.

2.6 HOUSEHOLD ADAPTIVE CAPACITY

Communities often visited by floods, such as barangays Balud and Maquina, have built adaptive capacities, such as raising houses on stilts, building temporary second level made of plywood close to the ceiling, and building new houses with second floor. In barangay Balud, about 20% of dwellings are with second floor. Huts in farms of higher elevation are also built to provide refuge in times of flood. Sheds for chicken and ducks are likewise raised.

Some farmers in barangay Maquina have adapted by acquiring a plot of farmland at an elevated area, to ensure that they would get some harvest even when floods come. One farmer interviewed said that he has a 8,000 sq m farm in the lower elevated areas, and a 2,000 sq m plot in the higher elevated area.


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