CATACLYSMIC FLOODING: Forest loss blamed for fatal floods in N. Iloilo

first_imgWith this, Defensor plans to expand treeplanting activities in the mountains to reclaim secondary forest. This aerial shot of Balasan town in northern Iloilo shows rooftops of houses buried in murky floodwaters due to incessant heavy rains spawned by Typhoon “Ursula.” VENTURER ROVER 2019 Defensor stressed that trees that havebeen cut down especially in the mountains must be replaced to mitigate soilerosion and water gushing at high speed. One the northern municipalities that experiencedUrsula’s wrath was the town of Balasan. All its 23 barangays got flooded,according to Chinky Diolosa, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officeofficer. ILOILO – Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr.believes deforestation in the mountains of northern Iloilo has led to themassive flooding that submerged several towns in the province’s 5th District thatbore the impact of typhoon “Ursula.” That deluge saw unprepared peoplefleeing to the upper floors and rooftops of their homes, and vehicles beingswept away by torrents that rose rapidly. Six family members in Batad towndied while trying to escape the floods. According to Defensor, denuded mountainsin northern Iloilo are primarily due to unabated cutting of trees and massivecorn plantations. “Angplano naton amo ang i-upod sa programmingfor our expanded tree planting activities kay ang plano naton for 2020 nga i-expand ang treeplanting initiatives,” the governor said. Not even super typhoon “Yolanda” inNovember 2013 was able to do this, said Diolasa. “Isasa mga teorya naton nga isa sa nag-amot sang pagdasig sang panaog sang tubig amoang wala na sang sponge saibabaw sang aton bukid,” Defensor said. “Ang mga kahoy sa bukid serve as sponge kay pagtupa sang ulan it will delayinstead of rushing down.” “Of course that is a fact, pero whether nga isa na sia sang rason sang pagbaha; naga-speculate kita unless lang ifthere’s a way for me to say scientifically nga amo gid man na ina pero commonsense would tell you nga posible isa sina sa rason kon ngaa kayti kon wala unod ang bukid wala sia sang sponge – dasig manaog ang tubig,” Defensor explained in an interview withthe media on Saturday. He explained that secondaryforest is a woodland area which has re-grown after a timber harvest,until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbanceare no longer evident. Defensor on his part said he is looking atthe situation not only in the context of providing immediate intervention butalso long-term solution. “Angprograma nga gina-pursue is the recovery of the secondary forest, you canused fruit bearing trees, puedekita makatanum sang coffee and cacao and the hills and mountainof fifth district are just one of the among  the areas that we wantto recover sa pagtanum sang kahoy,” thegovernor said./PNlast_img

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