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Kidapawan needs help to relocate thousands of families

By ERWIN MASCARIÑAS
Correspondent .

KIDAPAWAN City – Local officials are looking for an area to relocate thousands of families displaced as a result of the series of earthquakes that damaged and destroyed many properties here.

A man moves a galvanized iron sheet as he salvages materials from a house destroyed in Purok 5, Barangay Batasan, Makilala town, North Cotabato, as a result the Oct. 31 earthquake. Twenty-nine other houses in the community were also destroyed. (photo by Erwin Mascariñas)

Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista said many families have to be relocated because the places where they live or used to live in are already considered unfit for habitation.

Data from the Kidapawan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office show that all the houses and buildings in the city’s 40 barangays were damaged. Of these, 1,602 houses are in danger of collapsing because of the extent of the damages.

“We have finished our assessment with all the houses. We classified the damages as ‘minor,’ ‘partial,’ and ‘totally destroyed (sic),’” he said.

Kidapawan Mayor Joseph Evangelista (right) and City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Psalmer Bernalte (left) briefs Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao (center) about the situation of families left homeless, and the ongoing relief operations in the quake-hot city, Friday. (photo by Erwin Mascariñas)

By “minor,” officials refer to structures with small cracks. By “partial,” they refer to houses with more visible cracks but can still be used while those “totally destroyed” refers to houses that have become dangerous places for habitation.

Evangelista said an assessment had to be made so that city hall would know who to send home and those who need to be provided with shelter.

Of all the city’s barangays, Ilomavis suffered the most number of damaged houses at 1,098.

Psalmer Bernalte, Kidapawan Disaster Risk Reduction Management officer, said all the houses in Barangay Ilomavis were declared “totally damaged” (sic) and the area is now considered a danger zone by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

The CDRRMO stated that 2,737 families have been displaced and affected by the temblors that hit the city.

Evangelista said the local government hopes it could secure a loan from the National Housing Authority to help cover the costs of a relocation program, and so the displaced families could rebuild.

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