Bacolod spared from flooding; 5,000 evacuated

Bacolod City workers clear trees at the New Government Center that typhoon Odette toppled Thursday evening. (Bacolod City PIO photo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The city of Bacolod has not reported any flooding in the onslaught of Typhoon Odette Thursday night, but thousands were evacuated for their safety.

Executive Assistant Joemarie Vargas, cluster head of City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said Friday that 1,280 families composed of 5,286 individuals from coastal barangays took temporary shelter in various evacuation centers.

But several have already returned to their houses yesterday, while some opted to remain at the evacuation centers since their houses were destroyed.

Vargas said he has yet to collect the data on the number of damaged houses here as assessment is still ongoing in each barangay.

Despite the onslaught of the typhoon, Vargas said that no casualties were reported.

However, strong winds knocked down powerlines causing blackout here on Thursday night. Power was restored the following day in some areas here.

Vargas said that road clearing operation is ongoing as many fallen trees also blocked some roads.

The city government has already extended assistance to the affected residents.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, in a statement yesterday, said that the decision to assert the conduct of pre-emptive evacuations of families living in high-risk areas such as low-lying communities and along shorelines and near bodies of water saved lives.

It was the first time that we evacuated this many pre-emptively in the wake of a typhoon, he added.

Leonardia, however, called for prayers for neighboring local government units hardest hit by the storm, particularly those in the central and southern parts of Negros Occidental.

He also thanked everyone who helped ensure the safety of the Bacolodnons.