Flood in 13 Maguindanao villages displaces residents

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08:49 PM September 8th, 2013

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September 8th, 2013 08:49 PM

COTABATO CITY—Thirteen villages in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, were submerged by floodwater 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 rain.

Hundreds of residents in affected villages were forced to evacuate to higher grounds and temporarily sought shelter at village centers and public schools, according to Shariff Aguak Mayor Zahara Upam-Ampatuan.

She said the local government was having a hard time attending to the needs of displaced families whose number was being validated.

Since the municipal disaster office had limited funds because most have been spent in 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 are yet to recover from floods that hit their villages in August.

Last month, floods triggered by two low-pressure areas around Mindanao displaced almost 250,000 people in Maguindanao’s 20 municipalities.

Maguindanao had been placed under state of calamity in August due to the floods. Among the damaged infrastructure last month was the flood control project along Pulangi River near Tunggol Bridge in Datu Montawal.

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. Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao

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