JAGNA – A tropical disturbance known in the dialect as buhawi devastated four coastal barangays mid-morning Friday in this municipality leaving in its wake toppled houses, rip-off coconut trees and damaged bancas and motorized boats lined up in the shoreline. Packing strong winds accompanied by a big volume of rainwater, the twister lashed at barangays Can-upao, Bunga Mar, Cantagay and Ipil when it hit landfall, leaving damage to property placed at P1.3 million. According to eyewitnesses accounts, as the whirlwind hit the seashore, coastal residents ran to different directions to seek cover.
As the howler get lost in the open sea, the sight of toppled houses, uprooted coconut trees while several others were cut in half was what greeted curious residents who returned to their homes after the weather disturbance dissipated. Bancas secured in the shoreline due to the monsoon winds were also smashed by the whirlwind as it hit the devastated area. With the devastation catching the town by surprise, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council led by the town’s Mayor Fortunato R. Abrenilla and Vice Mayor Exuperio Lloren immediately responded to the call for help of the affected families. The two officials swung into action to extend assistance to those affected by the twister. Right after the buhawi or “ipo-ipo” as it is known in the town dissipated into the sea, damage assessments came under way. Tarsier, the province’s quick response team helped the local quick response team of the JEMRU and Bureau of Fire Protection in restoring order amidst the chaos.
MDRRMC’s Engr. Gerry Araneta reported as of 7:00 PM, July 27 that a total of 43 families in barangay Can-upao, 43 families in Bunga Mar; two families in Cantagay and a family in Ipil were affected. Three houses totally damaged (uprooted) in barangay Can-upao according to punong barangay Edcel Tutor and the rest were partially damaged with roofs and walls blown away.. A house was struck by two fallen coconut trees ploughed by the “ipo-ipo”. Trees and plants were uprooted. The “ipo-ipo” ploughed the coast of barangay. Bunga Mar partially damaging a total of 18 motorized and non-motorized bancas. Total damage to property as estimated by the MDRRMC was approximately P1.3 million. No casualty was reported as well as any missing person. The MDRRMC gave relief goods to the affected residents at around 4:30PM at barangays Can-upao and Bunga Mar. Governor Edgar Chatto and Vice Governor Concepcion Lim came to Can-upao ang Bunga Mar to give the province’s initial assistance. Together with them are officers of the PSWD led by Ms. Carmelita Tecson and Ms. Papiasa Bustrillos from the DSWD. Mayor Fortunato Abrenilla personally thanked the governor and vice governor for their quick assistance as well as their visit. According to Mayor Abrenilla , the presence of Capitol officials assuaged the sadness felt by the affected families. Some of the affected families said that the experience was fearsome but it left a challenge to continue to strive and hope for the betterment of their families.
“Grabe jud kapaspas ang tubag sa probinsya sa nahitabo namong kalamidad. Belib jud mi ni Gob. Chatto ug sa iyang mga kaubanan! Wala abti’g dugay ning-abot dayon ang ayuda para sa katawhan.” (“The response from the Provincial Government was so fast. We salute Gov. Chatto and his team! It didn’t take long for the people’s aid to arrive.” Thus recounted some victims of the “buhawi” that hit four barangays in Jagna just before noon Friday. The barangays hit were Cantagay, Can-upao, Ipil and Bunga Mar where houses or part of them were uprooted and toppled by the “buhawi” in other places and debris could be seen almost everywhere. Thirteen pump boats from Bunga Mar were even “lifted up” by the tornado and then forcefully thrown which made some of them impossible to fix. Barangays Can-upao and Bunga Mar had 42 and 43 affected families respectively; while both Ipil and Cantagay had two families each. Gov. Chatto, Vice-Gov. Lim, Mayor Abrenilla and the whole Team Bohol wasted no time in getting together all the necessary mechanisms to bring the needed help to the people of Jagna.
It was already steadily raining early Friday morning but no one expected what would have happened to Jagna. “We were traveling along the highway when we noticed that some parts of Garcia-Hernandez were already flooded,” recounted the governor. “I then received a text message that a ‘buhawi’ just hit Jagna which prompted me to immediately call TaRSIER 117.” TaRSIER 117 is the province’s Quick Response Unit (QRU), equivalent to America’s 911. TaRSIER stands for Telephone and Radio Systems Integrated Emergency Response headed by Provincial Administrator Alfonso “Ae” Damalerio II, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) Operations Officer. Mita Tecson, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, also told of how she came to know of the calamity. “I was having my lunch when Gov. Chatto called me up and told me of the incident. Me and my staff wasted no time in responding to the governor’s call. At one o’clock that afternoon, just an hour after the governor called, we were all set to go to Jagna to see the damage for ourselves so we could assess the situation and know what the people really needed.”
“I was really shocked when I saw the damage,” Tecson admitted. “I even saw a whole tree uprooted and dumped several meters away from the place where it was originally situated.” Gov. Chatto had fifteen appointments that day but he immediately cancelled several of them so he could attend to the people’s needs, personally distributing goods to Jagnaoanons. This is only the first part of our aid though,” Chatto said. “More would come when we have completely assessed the situation,” he assured the people. Gov. Chatto heartily thanked those who immediately responded to his plea for help: “the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), TaRSIER 117, and of course, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Jagna and all those who, in one way or another contributed in easing the burden of the victims.” “We are here because of the people,” Chatto continued. “And we are here to serve, not be served. The Chatto-Lim Administration is just giving back to the people what they deserve and what they should get from us, all public servants through and through,” Chatto emotionally said, still disbelieving of what happened to Jagna just in the wink of an eye, but determined to even the odds so those affected could stand again. (jlv/EDCom)