2 dead, 2,000 displaced as floods hit Mindanao areasBy Frinston L. Lim
TAGUM CITY, Philippines–Two children reportedly died and hundreds of families were displaced when floodwaters swamped several areas in southern Mindanao on Tuesday, army and disaster officials said on Wednesday.
The flooding that affected at least eight municipalities in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental forced over 2, 000 people out of their homes and sought shelter in town gymnasiums and other evacuation centers.
In Compostela Valley, some 425 families were rescued overnight as heavy downpour battered the towns of Monkayo, Compostela, Montevista and Nabunturan, according to Raul Villocino, provincial disaster officer.
Compostela municipality has the most number of displaced families at 284, followed by Monkayo with 87, the provincial capital of Nabunturan with 32 and Montevista, 22, said Villocino.
Army trucks ferried residents as soldiers and rescue volunteers raced to rescue residents trapped in their flooded homes in Monkayo, Compostela and Montevista around 9 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Col. Cesar Molina, commander of the Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion said.
“(Floodwaters have) subsided and some of the evacuees were already starting to head home,” Molina told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a text message on Wednesday morning.
Most of the affected communities in Monkayo, Montevista and Compostela are located along the flood plains of the Agusan River.
Small landslides also forced the evacuation of several families in Tuburan village, in Mawab town, said Villocino, the Compostela Valley disaster official.
Two children, including a 14-year old boy, were swept away by floodwaters as Bitaugan River burst its banks and inundated several communities in San Isidro town, in Davao Oriental, Luz Jayson, of the Davao Oriental provincial disaster risk reduction and management council said.
“The deaths (in San Isidro) were confirmed by local disaster officials there. We are still waiting for their report as to the victims’ identities and the extent of damage caused by the flooding,” Jayson told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by cell phone.
Flooding was also reported in the nearby town of Governor Generoso, Jayson added.
The day-long heavy downpour also inundated rice producing towns in Davao del Norte, with over a dozen families plucked to safety by rescuers in the villages of Sagayen, in Asuncion, and in Maniki village, in Kapalong, according to Sonio Sanchez, Davao del Norte provincial disaster action officer.