13 villages in Maguindanao town flooded after heavy rains

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COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Thirteen villages in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, were flooded spawned by heavy downpour Saturday night, dislocating hundreds of villagers, officials said.

The flash floods also hit the town center when the Allah River overflowed and the water level of Liguasan marshland rose following the overnight rain.

Hundreds of residents in affected villages were forced to evacuate to higher ground and seek shelter at village centers and public schools, Shariff Aguak Mayor Zahara Upam-Ampatuan said on Sunday.

She said the local government has been having a hard time attending to the needs of displaced families. The number of affected families was being validated, Upam-Ampatuan said.

Since the municipal disaster office had limited funds due to previous floods that affected Shariff Aguak, Mayor Ampatuan sought the help of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The displaced families have yet to recover from floods that hit their villages in August.

Last month, floods triggered by two low pressure area events around Mindanao displaced close to 250,000 persons in Maguindanao’s 20 municipalities.

Maguindanao was placed under state of calamity in August due to floods after the provincial board passed a resolution putting the entire province under state of calamity.

Among the damaged infrastructure last month was the flood control project along Pulangi River near Tunggol Bridge in Datu Montawal and water hyacinths clogged portions of the along Rio Grande de Mindanao.

Last month’s flood also submerged 185 villages affecting 49,615 families or 247,423 persons in 20 towns, according to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

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