Floods displace 5,000 families in Davao

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Sunday, January 20, 2013


DAVAO (Updated) -- Floods spawned by more than 24 hours of continuous rainfall inundated 12 of 181 barangays in Davao City Sunday morning and displaced thousands of families. All these barangays were along the Davao River.

Overflowing rivers were also reported in other parts of the region, resulting in dislocation of residents, many of whom needed to be rescued.

In Jade Valley Subdivision in Tigatto, Buhangin district, rescue teams used rubber boats and jet skis to extricate some 20 individuals still trapped inside their homes as of 3 p.m. Sunday, according to Central 911 officer-in-charge Emmanuel Jaldon.

Dante Donaire, development and management officer of the Davao City Risk Reduction and Management Council (DCDRRMC), said around 11 families were also trapped in Maa.

As rescuers searched around flooded homes to find people who may have been trapped, able-bodied residents were wading through floodwaters to get out of danger.

Davao City flooding
DAVAO. Fear is written in the face of a baby in Davao City who is all bundled up in the arms of a rescuer who waits in floodwaters for the mother (lady in black) to claim the baby. (Seth Delos Reyes)

No casualty so far

The City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) said 5,165 families or 28,525 individuals were affected by the floods as of noon Sunday. No casualty was reported.

Central 911 and the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM) reported that Don Julian and Sangilangan in Maa, Matina Gravahan, Lower Madapo in Bankerohan, El Rio in Bacaca, Tigatto, NCCC Relocation, Jade Valley and Deca Homes have been flooded.

Flooding was also reported in GEM Village in Maa, SIR Matina, Kasilak, Barangay Matina Crossing, Bucana and Barangay 2-A Poblacion.

Personnel from Central 911, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) rescued 123 families in Tigato or 597 individuals. Some and 75 families or 305 individuals were also rescued in Sangilangan.

Major Jake Obligado, chief of the Civil Military Operations of the 10th Infantry Division, said operations are ongoing to rescue residents still trapped inside their homes.

In a text message at past 5 p.m. Sunday, Major Obligado said rescuers saved 499 families with 1,792 members from Jade Valley, 120 families with 400 members in Sangilangan, Maa, 70 families with 200 members in Lower Madapo, Bankerohan, 336 families with 1,700 members in El Rio Vista in Bacaca, 350 families with 1,600 members in Matina Grabahan in Matina, 84 families with 240 members in Calle Plaque of teachers village in Calinan, and 161 families with 450 members in San Rafael, Maa, for a total of 1,620 families made up of 6,981 members.

According to city officials, this was one of the worst flooding incidents the city has experienced in terms of the magnitude of the water level.

Central 911 noted that water level of Tamugan River and Lasang River started to swell around 9 p.m. Saturday. The water level of the Davao River, meanwhile, swelled around 1 a.m. Sunday.

Davao City flooding
DAVAO. The garage of MidValley Taxi along San Rafael Road in Davao City is all flooded up. The San Rafael area, which is a floodplain of Davao River, was among the areas in 12 barangays affected by the overflowing of the city's biggest river. (Bong Go)

State of calamity

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has instructed the CSSDO headed by Malou Bermudo to distribute food packs in 21 evacuation centers by 5 p.m. Sunday, The office, however, had started to give noodles to the affected residents by noon Sunday.

Mayor Duterte-Carpio said she will also recommend to the City Council of Davao to declare the barangays affected by the floods in a state of calamity.

The mayor will convene the local lawmaking body in a special session Monday.

"The declaration will depend on the City Council," she said.

City officials acknowledged they lacked rubber boats, having only six, but other agencies and private groups have brought their own.

The local government of the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) also sent rubber boats to intensify rescue and evacuation operations in the affected areas.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said affected families were also advised not to go back to their homes yet since water levels may still increase due to light to moderate rain caused by the tail-end of a cold front.

Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, meanwhile, checked Sunday the affected barangays in a helicopter to assess which areas need immediate assistance.

He also dropped sandwiches and bread to people on rooftops who still cannot be reached by rescuers.

In Davao del Norte

The first reported missing was in Davao del Norte, where a 63-year-old resident of Barangay Sonlon in Tagum City, identified as Ramon Ampong, was reported to have been carried by the current as he tried to cross Saug River.

Flooding was reported in wide swaths of land not affected by Typhoon Palbo in this province, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office action officer Sonio Shanchez reported through the Philippine Information Agency.

Flooded are Barangays Talomo, Kinamayan, Pantaron and Casig-ang in Sto. Tomas town.

Also submerged in waist-deep water is poblacion Kapalong in Kapalong town.

According to the PDRRMO, rainfall was pouring at an average of 10 to 15 mm/hr, which is above normal at 1 to 5 mm/hr.

The highway in Barangay Pagsabangan in Tagum City was also flooded and was still rising Sunday morning as Pansabangan River overflowed.

There was a reported crack on the Pansabangan Bridge that authorities are keeping an eye on.

Vehicles traffic between Laak town and Tagum City has been disrupted because of floodwaters in the towns of Asuncion and Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

"Kapalong is flooded and the water is still increasing," Davao del Norte assistant provincial administrator Romulo Tagalo said in a text message.

In Talaingod, Purok 2 of Barangay Palma Gil is also flooded, while water level in Asuncion continuous to increase, especially in Barangays Napungas, Sagayen, Dona Andrea, Magatos, Canatan and Cambanogoy.

In BE Dujali, Barangay Tanglaw is also under water.

Rescue in Cateel

Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, meanwhile, said rescue operations were ongoing in the Barangays Taytayan, San Vicente, San Jose, and Alegria in Cateel town.

Davao Oriental PDRRMO action officer Engr. Jesus Timbang reported that two bridges have collapsed due to surging floodwaters. These are the San Jose Bridge in Caraga town and the Taytayan Bridge in Cateel town.

Flood in Compostela Valley

Similar flooding incidents were reported in Compostela Valley, forcing evacuation of residents living in Linoan 1 of Purok 6 in Montevista town around 10:15 a.m.

On Sunday morning, Cogonon Bridge in New Bataan was rendered impassable by rampaging riverwaters, while the Poblacion Road going to the Provincial Capitol in Nabunturan was already flooded.

Puroks 2, 4, 6, and 7 in barangay Banagbanag of Montevista town was also submerged in water. (Charles Raymond A. Maxey, Arianne Caryl Casas and Ruji Peter S. Abat/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

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