LOON, Bohol – The internally displaced persons (IDPs) of sitio Moalong, barangay Basak of this earthquake-stricken town have learned their lessons and are very keen to be relocated for safety following the devastation of their households at the height of storm “Seniang” last December 29, 2014. Scores of destruction, not only households mostly made of light materials but also infrastructure and fishing boats torn into pieces that surely affect the source of livelihood of the residents who are mostly fishermen.
Some 50 families who reside near the delta of historic Moalong river in this town are badly affected by the storm, Remarlito Labastida, 42, who also grew up here as fisherman, said in an interview.
He said he’s thankful his family, Irene, 37 and children — Gerille, 7 and Jorel, two-month old, is safe following the pre-emptive evacuation since they learned to be prepared. Labastida, whose household was also destroyed by the flashflood, said that as if the water was furious that it did not only washed out houses but also created extraction-like little craters everywhere that even basketball hard court was washed out and coco trees uprooted.
Samuel dela Serna, 30, who’s residing across the highway here since birth, said in exclusive interview he’s ready to be transferred nearby as promised by local officials. He resides in his house and his brother’s located just below the earthquake-substituted steel bridge. Both dwellings made of light materials are totally damaged due to flashflood.
He said he’s still thankful his family — Myrlene, 34 and children, Petmyza, 8; Samuel Jr., 7 and Edisame, 5 — is safe and well while at same time he’s literally picking up what he can salvage from the debris. They’re one of the evacuees being hurried up to Basak Elementary School once again converted into an instant evacuation center.
Natividad Sebero, 75, a widow, said in exclusive interview that they’re ready to be relocated. Her family is quake-victim whose house situated beside the Moalong river was no match to flashflood.
Another thing they’d learned is that they residents have decided to flee hours earlier prior to the storm’s gusty winds struck their place past midnight, Labastida said.
But there are few families who initially refused to evacuate earlier until the storm started to batter their dwellings then later on officials and volunteers including the fire department personnel rescued them while the storm dumped uninterrupted heavy downpour for hours, Labastida said.
Ha said that he’s also pleased that the planned relocation site is just close to his former house near the seashore so he still can do fishing.