Flood traps 300 in Bukidnon

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


CAGAYAN DE ORO (Updated 4:47 p.m.) -- About 300 residents were trapped in Valencia City in Bukidnon province when an irrigation dam collapsed on Tuesday due to severe flooding created by a weather system west of Mindanao, a top local official said.

Three military helicopters were dispatched to the area at Barangay Batangan to rescue residents, who were reportedly trapped on their rooftops. The flashflood hit the village Tuesday morning.

Some of the houses were even "washed out", said Bukidnon Governor Alex Calingasan, adding that residents moved to higher grounds for safety.

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Also, about 1,000 people were affected when the floodwater reached Poblacion, Valencia City, Calingasan added.

The governor said the diversion dam of the National Irrigation Administration between Barangay Lumbayao in Valencia City and San Fernando town collapsed when the river overflowed.

"Bumigay yong dam kasi tumaas na yung tubig (The dam collapsed when water level started to rise)," Calingasan said.

Before the river overflowed, the local government had already warned the residents to vacate the area, the governor said. He, however, said the residents were hard-headed, and did not heed to their warning.

Meanwhile, the downpour brought by a low pressure area near Zamboanga City has also caused flooding in low-lying areas in Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Cebu, Dinagat Island and Butuan City.

In Visayas, St. Bernard, Maasin, Bato and Sogod in Southern Leyte; and Mahaplag, Palo and Julia in Leyte have also experienced flooding.

Residents in these areas have sought shelter in evacuation centers, weather officials said. (Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 27, 2011.

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