VALENCIA CITY, Bukidnon -- With torrential rains affecting Northern Mindanao, city officials have placed this city under state of calamity, said acting City Disasater Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) chief June Ray Valero.

“Crops, mostly rice, are damaged as rice fields abound in the barangays affected,” Valero said.

As of Thursday, January 19, rescue operation is still ongoing at San Isidro village which is the hardest hit village here after the Pulangui river began to swell Wednesday evening, January 18, until its water ebbed by noontime Thursday.

The retaining wall of the river which collapsed continues to pour in rampaging waters in San Isidro, sending the CDRRMO rescue team to forcibly evacuate remaining residents who refused to leave their houses when pre-emptive evacuation was hoisted on Wednesday evening.

Valero said there are still remaining 300 persons being rescued from San Isidro to ensure the flooding in the city results to zero casualty.

“Our greatest challenge here is prompt action from residents whenever alert on pre-emptive evacuation is declared. We have to forcibly evacuate these residents to avoid difficulty in rescuing them soon as water here becomes rough. I just hope people learn to listen to alerts to avoid fatalities and more damages. I am going back to the site to bring more equipment to complete the evacuation,” Valero said.

Valero said most of the residents in 10 villages along Pulangui river have taken shelter in the evacuation centers setup in each affected village except for the hardest hit San Isidro as its residents are sheltered at Vintar village evacuation center.

The CDRRMO chief added his office is still determining the exact number of evacuees but an estimate of about 2,000 individuals were being sheltered in 10 evacuation centers in the city.

Flooding occurred at villages San Isidro, Batangan, Kahapunan, Lumbayao, Poblacion, Lumbo, Pinatilan, Sinabwagan, Maapag, and Katumbalon while landslide areas like villages Lilingayon, Concepcion, and Banlag are under tight watch.