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Floods, slides hit Mindanao

9 Dead; Evacuations Launched Amid Week-Long Heavy Rains Due To LPA

Manila, Philippines — Continuous week-long heavy rains blamed on a low-pressure area (LPA) have caused massive flooding and triggered landslides in village communities in Mindanao, particularly in the provinces of Dinagat Islands, Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte and Agusan, provincial officials reported yesterday.

One of the landslides struck a remote village in Davao Oriental on Saturday, killing at least five persons. The landslide happened in Sitio Bangol, part of Tarragona town, the Provincial Information Office (PIO) of Davao Oriental reported yesterday.

Several bridges in Caraga town in Davao Oriental were also damaged due to floods. Among the damaged bridges were those in the towns of Baogo, San Jose, Santiago, Sta. Fe and Sobrecarey.

Massive rescue operations and evacuations were launched in the province last Saturday after Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon convened the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC).

Officials in the affected provinces said they, together with their respective PDRRMC, have put their respective preemptive evacuation programs into high gear.

Alert Level 3

In Dinagat Islands, Alert Level 3 was raised by the PDRRMC following heavy rains, with at least 100 individuals sent to evacuation centers.

In this 2013 file photo, a family uses a craft made out of banana trunks to carry themselves to safety as the water completely cover wide portion of Purok 11 in Poblacion Asuncion, Davao del Norte. On January 12, several areas in Mindanao have been flooded due to heavy rains brought by Low Pressure Area. (Alexander D. Lopez/ file)

In this 2013 file photo, a family uses a craft made out of banana trunks to carry themselves to safety as the water completely cover wide portion of Purok 11 in Poblacion Asuncion, Davao del Norte. On January 12, several areas in Mindanao have been flooded due to heavy rains brought by Low Pressure Area. (Alexander D. Lopez/ file)

A landslide occurred at Matingbe area while rock slides hit the Magkono area, both in Dinagat Islands although there had been no report of any casualty, according to Ma. Jane A. Mayola, PDRRMC provincial information officer.

The evacuees in Dinagat islands received relief goods from PDRRMC as various MDRRMCs in the province had pre-positioned provisions to their respective evacuees, Mayola said.

Since Saturday night, at least four towns in Dinagat Islands have suffered power trip-offs due to strong winds and rains, the provincial information officer of that province told the Manila Bulletin.

Butuan Floods

In Butuan City, local officials were closely monitoring the rising floodwaters coming from the Agusan river in the upper stream of Agusan del Sur province.

The CDRRMC and PDRRMC in Butuan and Agusan del Sur have ordered a pre-emptive evacuation of residents living along the river banks.

ComVal Bridge Destroyed

Meanwhile, in a report given to the Manila Bulletin by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in ComVal province, heavy flooding destroyed the Mayo Bridge in the town of New Bataan.

Police Senior Supt. Camilo Cascolan, ComVal PNP chief, said the water levels of rivers in the areas of Montevista, Maragusan and Monkayo were steadily rising as of 2 p.m. on Saturday due to continued rains.

At least 12 families were already evacuated in Magading, Nabunturan town, 50 families in Marapat in Compostela town, 110 families in Kidawa, Laak and 43 families in New Visayas, Montevista, the police official said.

The PDRRMC in Davao del Norte is also closely monitoring the flooded areas in some villages in the towns of New Corella and Asunsion.

In Davao City, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said below-the-knee street floods were reported in Panacan, Vitarich, Ilang and La Verna as of Saturday night.

The CDRRMC called on the residents in the area to stay safe and continue to monitor the weather updates.

In Malita, Davao Occidental, at least three fishermen remained missing since Thursday, according to the MDRRMC.

Hit By ‘Buhawi’

Early morning yesterday, troops from the 701st Brigade of the Philippine Army, were sent to Barangay Marayag in Lupon town, Davao Oriental, to assist residents hit by severe wind and rain locally known as “buhawi.”

Reports from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Region XI sent to the Manila Bulletin here said flashfloods hit Barangay Marayag at dawn Sunday, destroying houses in the area.

Landslides also hit Boston and Cateel towns, particularly in the portion of the national highway but authorities said the major road networks leading to these areas are still passable.

More Rains Seen

The government weather bureau said heavy rains brought by the LPA east of the country will continue to affect the Visayas and Mindanao within the next three days.

Manny Mendoza, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the LPA, estimated at 190 km east of General Santos City mid-Sunday, may continue to bring moderate to heavy rains over the entire Visayas and Mindanao within the next few days.

However, he explained the LPA has a minimal chance of intensifying into a tropical depression because of its proximity to the landmass and interaction with the cold air mass coming from the northeast.

“The LPA was expected to hover over the landmass of Davao Oriental on Sunday afternoon. If it continues to traverse the Mindanao area, the probability that it would dissipate is high within the next 24 hours,” Mendoza said.

Flights Cancelled

Officials said the LPA forced the cancellation of several flights and sea travel in some areas in the Visayas and Mindanao region.

In Bicol, the Philippine Coast Guard stopped nine vessels from sailing out and recorded 3,021 stranded passengers. (With reports from Ellalyn de Vera and Raymund Antonio)

  • redsnapper1

    Congratulations and thanks are in order for the government officials of the affected provinces who acted quick and decisively in the face of these would-be calamities.