Media reports on 4 killed, 3 missing, 1 hurt in Caraga floods, landslide unverified, says OCD

by Ben Serrano

January 4, 2011


            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) -  The Office of the Civil Defense here in Caraga Region today claimed reports coming from different sources that came out in various media outlets in the region were not official OCD report, unverified and not confirmed and therefore not reliable as of now.


            Dr. Blanche Gobenciong, OCD-Caraga regional director told PNA in an interview said that although she heard rumors about two deaths, three deaths , three missing it were all remained r hearsays because it is not yet verified, identify the supposed victims and local officials of said affected areas where there were rumored casualties could not even confirmed and identify victims


            “We are not just cheap rumor mongerers as we are an agency who believes right and correct reporting is a must but we will try efforts to check, verify, locate bodies of these reported missing and deaths and identify them. Unless we can do these, then we will release it to you as it is. Truth really must prevail” Gobenciong said.


            Bombo Radyo Butuan reported 4 were killed although identified all, 3 missing also not identified and one hurt in the calamity that struck Caraga region at the opening of the year.Other media outlets reported varied numbers of casualties including local ABS-CBN here in Butuan City two were reportedly killed in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur yesterday. 


            Meanwhile, official OCD report from Gobenciong’s office as of 8 a.m. this morning January 4, 2011 revealed a total of 121           barangays involving 17,492 families or about 91, 006 individuals were affected by flooding and landslide in the entire Caraga region.


            Of that number people affected by the calamity about 531 families or 2,366 persons were evacuated to different evacuation centers in the entire Caraga Region.


            According to the OCD official report as of 8 a.m. this morning January 4, 2011, greatly affected by the calamity is the province of Surigao del Sur  with 80,880 persons or about 13,480 families in 74 barangays in eleven towns of Surigao de Sur were affected by the calamity.


            Surigao del Sur Provincial Government is expected to declare the entire province under state of calamity today, the OCD official report claimed.


            Next hardly hit is the province of Surigao del Norte with 1,690 persons affected then Agusan del Sur with 1,676 persons or about 374 families affected then Agusan del Norte and Dinagat Islands.


            The total damages in both private and public infrastructure have not yet been officially tallied although OCD claimed there are damaged roads, bridges and irrigation canals worth millions were destroyed.


            OCD said they have not yet received official report coming from the Department of Agriculture of the total official amount of damaged agricultural crops, livestock, fishponds and fish cages as of press time.


            “We are still awaiting the official reports from them although there were initial reports that millions of pesos of crops especially ricleands that were flooded were also damaged in the entire Caraga region” Dr. Gobenciong said.


            “Although we at the OCD understood the ratings war of media, the deadlines, we appeal to report also that is true , verified,  identified and officially confirmed, truth ika nga will always set us free”, Gobenciong in conclusion of the interview issued the appeal. (PNA/Ben Serrano)