Widespread flooding in Davao City

Six Davao City barangays hit hardest by deluge; Homes damaged, belongings and cars swept away in deluge
FLOODED BARANGAY. Streets in Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City remain submerged in floodwater following heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening, November 8, 2023. The Davao City government declared class suspension in all levels both public and private schools in Matina Aplaya, and other flooded barangays at Talomo and Tugbok District.
FLOODED BARANGAY. Streets in Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City remain submerged in floodwater following heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening, November 8, 2023. The Davao City government declared class suspension in all levels both public and private schools in Matina Aplaya, and other flooded barangays at Talomo and Tugbok District.Ramcez Villegas/SunStar Photo

ON THE night of November 8, 2023, a heavy downpour led to widespread flooding affecting several barangays in Davao City. 

Barangays Bago Gallera, Bago Aplaya, Talomo Proper, Matina Aplaya,  Maa, and Baliok bore the brunt of the deluge.

Among the hardest hit was Samantha Homes in Bago Gallera, where residents shared videos and images of cars being swept away by the floodwaters. 

The sudden onslaught left several homes damaged, belongings lost, and families in distress.

Arlene Decinilla, a Samantha Homes resident, recounted to SunStar Davao that the floodwaters rose rapidly, leading to several vehicles crashing into her home around midnight. 

Their house suffered extensive damage, and many of their belongings were lost to the water. Despite the harrowing experience, she expressed gratitude that she and her family are safe.

Some Bago Gallera residents were relocated to the Barangay Bago Gallera Gym and Don Enrique High School, receiving assistance from Barangay officials and the City Social Welfare Development Office-Talomo B District (CSWDO-Talomo B District).

As of 10:30 a.m. on November 9, 2023, the floodwaters had not yet receded at Cadena de Amor, Barangay Talomo Proper. 

Belen Mariquit, a resident, described how, by midnight on November 8, the water had reached her waist. She and her family tried to salvage their belongings, but unfortunately, some were still damaged by the flood. They are now focused on cleaning up the aftermath.

Similarly, in Talusa, Barangay Talomo, the water levels remain high. 

Susan M. Valcorza, a resident, shared how her family woke up to find the flood dangerously close to their home. They didn't hear any alarms from the barangay, which typically signal when the river is on code orange to red. They only heard one when the waters had already risen.

“Wala gyud ko kadungog ug alarm, pagmata naku kagabii gamay nalang kaayog kulang muabot na sa salog (I did not hear an alarm, when I woke up last night, the water was so near, it was almost at our doorstep),” Valcorza said.

Ivan Jay Navalta, head of the Parish Disaster Action Response Team (Pdart) at San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Barangay Talomo Proper, said that despite limited personnel, they successfully rescued 18 children (ages zero to 18) and 14 adults (ages 19 to 60).

Navalta expressed hope for a proactive community that learns how to respond to flooding and listens to authorities to minimize the need for rescue operations.

“Hinaut unto nga mamahimong pro-active ang community ug mag kat-on og unsay pagabuhaton og maminaw sa mga person in authority aron walą nay rescue nga mahitabo (I hope for a proactive community that learns how to respond to flooding and listens to authorities to minimize the need for rescue operations),” Navalta said. 

In response to the situation, the city government of Davao has issued Proclamation Number 4, Series of 2023, suspending classes at all levels in affected barangays.

According to the initial report from the Office of Civil Defense-Davao Region (Ocd-Davao), they are actively monitoring the ongoing incidents in the region and disseminating warnings through text messages, messenger, Viber, and their official Facebook page.

The CSWDO has reported that as of 3 p.m., there are approximately 99 affected families in Catalunan Pequeño, including two totally damaged houses and three  with slight damage. 

In Bago Gallera, around 601 affected families, comprising about 1,500 individuals. Additionally, there are three houses that have been completely destroyed, with 10 individuals affected. 

Bago Aplaya has 476 affected families, and Baliok has 420 affected families.

As of press time, various city officials and other government agencies have extended assistance to those affected by the flood. RGP

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FLOODED BARANGAY. Streets in Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City remain submerged in floodwater following heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening, November 8, 2023. The Davao City government declared class suspension in all levels both public and private schools in Matina Aplaya, and other flooded barangays at Talomo and Tugbok District.
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FLOODED BARANGAY. Streets in Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City remain submerged in floodwater following heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening, November 8, 2023. The Davao City government declared class suspension in all levels both public and private schools in Matina Aplaya, and other flooded barangays at Talomo and Tugbok District.
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