Photos from Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation Facebook Page

Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation (CMDC) provided aid to at least 315 households in Narra and Sofronio Española towns impacted by floods due to tropical storm Maring and the southwest monsoon.

Pamela Miguel, community relations and administrative manager, said their team started Monday morning in helping conduct rescue operations in the affected barangays such as Malinao, Batang-Batang, Elvita, and Aramaywan in Narra to assess what residents need.

She said they also extended support to affected families in Brgy. Punang Sofronio Española town.

Personnel of Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation prepare relief boxes and water for domestic use. (Photo from Citinickel FB page)

“Lalo na kahapon, malakas ang tubig sa mga dinaanan namin na areas. Lalong-lalo na diyan sa Batang-Batang River, napakalakas ng daloy ng tubig pero traditionally ay ganyan na ‘yan. Iyong mga binaha kasi na area even sa Poblacion sa Narra ay ganoon ‘yon kapag umuulan nang malakas, talagang may mga nalulubog na area,” she said.

“Kawawa ang mga kababayan natin na nasa evacuation centers, mga bata, wala silang nadala. Kumbaga kung ano lang ‘yong suot nila karamihan ganoon lang. Syempre pagkain, damit, gamot, ‘yon ang mga kailangan nila. Dali-dali tayo kung ano ang maitutulong, marami naman din ang tumutulong, nagsasalubong ang mga tumutulong sa ground pero nakakaawa talaga sila,” Miguel added.

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Miguel said that the company would continue expanding its relief efforts, especially in providing some basic necessities and water supplies, which are critical for the people displaced in evacuation centers.

The freshwater is drawn from the social development and management program (SDMP) water system project of Citinickel in Brgy. Bato-bato using Citinickel water trucks and delivered to evacuation centers for domestic use.

Distribution of meals in evacuation sites. (Photo from Citinickel page)

The mining company’s assistance, she said, is self-funded and not part of the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) budget.

The mining company supplied service vehicles for the rescue effort as well as hot meals for the evacuees from the impacted barangays. It also distributed relief items including rice, instant noodles, canned foods, eggs, bread, biscuits, face masks, and alcohol.

According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), four persons have been reported deceased in Narra town as of October 12 after rainfall triggered flooding in rivers, resulting in overflow in the town’s low-lying neighborhoods.

The municipality is conducting a continuous search and retrieval operation for missing residents.

Citinickel trucks assisting in relief operations. (Photo from Citinickel FB page)

Miguel also said that the floods did not occur in Brgy. San Isidro (also Brgy. San Isidro), which is their mining operation’s host community.

“Walang pagbaha rito, sana ay maliwanagan ang ating mga kababayan na hindi rito ang baha, sa ibang barangay na ang distance from us ay nasa 10 to 20 kilometers away from Brgy. Bato-Bato,” Miguel said.

“Kami ang lumalabas, hindi kami ang apektado, walang baha rito for the record, kaming nakakatulong sa mga binaha,” she added.

The mining company will also issue a statement explaining their mining operation and why Citinickel should not be blamed for the floods in certain barangays. Miguel hopes it would help shed light on the residents’ feelings that are circulating online.

“Masakit, mabigat sa kalooban namin ‘yon pero kumbaga tinatanggap namin na lahat naman ay entitled sa kanilang mga opinyon. Pero maglalabas din kami ng pahayag tungkol sa bagay na ‘yan para makapagbigay ng kaliwanagan, katotohanan sa sitwasyon dahil for the record ay hindi rito ang baha. Malayo ang baha sa amin,” she said.

“Masakit pero ganoon talaga. Siguro rin kasi hindi pa rin alam ng iba, hindi naikokonteksto ng tama kaya maglalabas din kami ng official na pahayag parte doon sa umiikot na baseless accusations o opinions ng iba na umiikot lalo na sa social media,” she added.

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