By Celso Amo
LEGAZPI CITY --- Twenty people, including children and two senior citizens, were almost drowned by a flash flood spawned by moderate rain due to tropical storm Basyang in Barangay Kimantong in Daraga, Albay on Valentine’s Day, the police said.
In a belated report, Supt. Elcid Roldan, Daraga police chief, said his me, together with members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and Bureau of Fire Protection, rescued three families inside the Bernardino compound in Purok 1 at about 9:40 p.m. on February 14.
Roldan said the flash flood was caused by the convergence of rain water from the upper barangays of San Roque and Kimantong.
“All we had were the clothes we were wearing when flash flood over five feet deep almost drowned us all,” said former Kimantong Barangay Kagawad Dondon Nimo.
He said the rain water suddenly rose after the road widening project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) being implemented by workers of TR Construction destroyed the cement gate in front of the compound.
“It was as if all the rainwater from Barangay San Roque and Kimantong all flowed towards our place,” Nimo recalled.
He said it was worse than the flooding brought by super typhoon Reming which devastated Albay in November 30, 2006.
He added all their belongings, including clothes and appliances, were carried away by the floods and buries in the mud.
“We are asking the contractor to restore the concrete gate so rain water will not flow back to where we are staying,” the former barangay official pleaded.
Supt. Roldan asked the engineers and workers implementing the road widening project along the national highway in Barangay Kimantong to exercise foresight to avoid serious harm to the people living in the area.