DAVAO CITY—More than 5,000 families, or 25,000 individuals, have been affected by the flooding that hit riverside villages here following nonstop rains since Saturday night.
The city government has called off classes from kindergarten to high school in both public and private schools today as the city continues to assess the extent of the damage from one of the worst floodings the city has experienced in past years.
Emmanuel Jaldon, chief of the Davao City Disaster Risk and Management Council (DCDRMC), said local officials had issued warnings as early 9 p.m. on Saturday after the Tamugan River, one of the main tributaries of the Davao River, overflowed its banks.
As a result, at least 12 barangays lining the Davao River were flooded.
Jaldon said some residents refused to evacuate, resulting in their being trapped in their homes.
“The problem is their coping threshold. Most of them had already experienced the worst floods so they don’t just evacuate until the waters reach critical level,” he said.
Jaldon said the rains continued to pour in the upland areas of Davao City, and as of 2:30 p.m. yesterday the floods continued to rise.
Dante Donayre, DCDRMC operations chief, said that despite the disaster preparedness training local leaders had undergone in the past, this was not replicated at the community level thus barangay officials failed to pass the lessons to the communities.
Malou Bermudo, chief of the City Social Services and Development Office, said 5,165 families from 12 city barangays affected by the floods were now in evacuation centers.
In Compostela Valley, 178 families left their homes, even as authorities forced some residents to evacuation centers as water levels in major rivers continued to rise, according to Raul Villocino, provincial disaster officer.
In neighboring Davao del Norte province, over 800 people were evacuated overnight as floodwaters swamped the rice-producing municipalities of Kapalong, Sto. Tomas, Braulio Dujali and Asuncion, said Romulo Tagalo, Davao del Norte assistant administrator.
Those evacuated, according to Villocino, included 129 families from the villages of Andap, Cogonon and Cabinuangan in New Bataan, the town which suffered the biggest number of casualties in last December’s killer storm. Germelina Lacorte, Dennis Jay Santos, Karlos Manlupig, Ayan C. Mellejor and Frinston L. Lim, Inquirer Mindanao