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MAASIN CITY, June 6 (PIA) -- The local government here has placed this city under a state of calamity in the aftermath of tropical storm Dante to make use of its quick response fund (QRF) for disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts.

The move was reached by the Sangguniang Panlunsod on learning that 14,000 individuals out of the total population of 89,000 -- about 16 percent, more than the required 10 percent -- were badly affected, Zaldy Olita, city councilor, reported at radio station DYDM morning newscast Friday, June 5.

“With the declaration, the LGU will be able to use 30 percent of its calamity fund, the QRF, amounting to P10 million, more or less, for recovery and other disaster-related activities,” Olita said.

However, the extent of damage on agriculture and infrastructure is still being assessed, Olita also said.

On Tuesday, June 1, at noontime, non-stop rains caused by tropical storm Dante, in which the city and province were under Signal Number 2, coupled with rising high tide at 1.6 meters, flooded most of the areas along the three kilometer stretch of RK Kangleon national highway as drainage canals choked with excess water.

The rivers at barangays Combado and Tunga-Tunga overflowed, trapping residents along the way, some struggling in breast-deep waters, while emergency responders from the city and province, along with rescuers from PNP, BFP, and Coast Guard, immediately rushed on the scene to save lives.

Fortunately, there was no fatality as the waters subsided by sundown, City Mayor Nacional Mercado disclosed in interviews over Radio Pilipinas.

Food packs were subsequently delivered to the flood victims in evacuation centers and to those who fled to homes of friends and relatives for safety, the Mayor also said.

He added that all roads connecting the city’s interior and mountain barangays remained passable. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)