Marikina evacuees begin heading for home

Text and photos by MARIO IGNACIO IV

EVACUEES who escaped rising floodwaters in Marikina began returning to their homes on Thursday, although many still remain in evacuation centers.

According to the Marikina City Relief Operation Center, as of 9 p.m. Aug. 9, some 32,000 residents remain in the city’s various evacuation centers.

The figure has gone down from the 42,358 residents or 7,259 families as of eight hours earlier. The number of centers has also dropped from 33 to 29 as residents of the flood-damaged areas returned to their homes.

Some of the evacuees at the Concepcion Elementary School who are from Barangay Tumana said that the deceptively calm weather Wednesday morning encouraged them to return to their barangay to check on and begin cleaning their homes. But that afternoon’s torrential rains and the rising flood waters that followed forced them to return to the evacuation center.

Most of the 2,637 evacuees who have stayed at the school are waiting for local government officials to give them clearance to return to their barangay.

The remaining evacuees said that they were adequately supplied with regular meals and drinking water. What they are in need of are sleeping mats and blankets, as many of them sleep on thin pieces of flattened packing boxes laid out on the floors of the 45 classrooms they occupy.