Rain-spawned landslides kill 6 in Mindanao

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At least six persons have been reported killed and six reported missing as floods and landslides struck many communities in Compostela Valley and other parts of northeast Mindanao over the weekend.

A 7-year-old girl was killed while three persons were reported missing as two landslides hit mining villages on Mt. Diwata in Monkayo, Compostela Valley, several hours apart early Sunday, police said.

Compostela Valley police chief Camilo Cascolan identified the young fatality as Jenemae Gonzales. Those injured were identified as Ranchel Barrientos, 18; Reneboy Barrientos, 28; Pedro Abuyog, 43; Melodina Abuyog, 43; Bert Matrona, 14; Jessa Abuyog, 8; and Joshua Abuyog, 4.

In Davao Oriental, provincial police chief Jose Carumba reported that five people died when a landslide hit the village of Bangol in Tarragona town on Saturday night.

The victims were identified as Misael Caballes, Ramil Legazpi, Nino Madindin, Alfredo Moses and Roy Baron.

Three fishermen from Tubay, Agusan del Norte, were reported missing.

Continuous rains were being spawned by a low pressure area over Mindanao, causing hundreds of residents to flee to safer areas.

Cascolan said 30 families were evacuated to the Mt. Diwata Elementary School on Sunday, as soldiers, police and volunteers conducted search operations to locate two persons buried in the landslide in Purok 2 and another in Purok 22.

In Davao del Norte, more than 2,000 families fled to higher ground due to landslides and chest-deep flooding in four municipalities, according to Senior Supt. Samuel Gadingan, Davao del Norte police chief.

Gadingan said the rice-producing town of Asuncion reported the most number of evacuees at 1,270 families after the Saug River overflowed, rendering roads impassable. Parts of Tagum City were also inundated. Other affected areas in the province, according to Gadingan, were New Corella (101 families), Kapalong (23 families), Tagum (78 families) and Carmen, with five families.

The wooden bridge in Andap, New Bataan town, in Compostela Valley collapsed after the Mayo River overflowed late Saturday, isolating Sitio (settlement) Pagsilaan and other communities, Marlon Esperanza, information officer of New Bataan, told the Inquirer by text.

Officials said a total of 601 families, or around 2,400 persons, had been evacuated in Compostela Valley. Affected areas in Compostela Valley included Monkayo, with 343 families, Laak with 110 families, Nabunturan (33 families), Montevista (43 families), New Bataan (22 families) and Pantukan (20).

Flooding was also reported in Davao Oriental, submerging several low-lying villages in the towns of Cateel and Baganga.

A bridge in Quinonoan in Manay town was destroyed by rampaging waters around 6 a.m. Sunday, Senior Supt. Jose Carumba, Davao Oriental police chief, said.

The bridge that connects Manay to the towns of Caraga, Baganga, Cateel and Boston was impassable to motorists, Carumba said.

In Agusan del Sur, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said floods forced some 990 families in the towns of Trento, Sta. Josefa and Veruela to seek refuge in designated evacuation centers.

Two areas along the national highway were impassable after a portion of Barangay Libertad in Bunawan town was submerged in floodwaters, while a landslide in Barangay Afga in Sibagat town, about 20 kilometers  from Butuan, blocked the road leaving many passengers stranded.

The national highway in Barobo, Surigao del Sur, was declared not passable to all types of vehicles.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, the Butuan City DRRMC reported that some streets in downtown Butuan were knee-deep in floodwaters.

A report from PDRRMC in Surigao Norte said the villages of Punta, Cansayong  and Karihatag in Malimono town were isolated due to flashfloods.

The river in Panaghiusa and Bogac districts in Mangagoy, Bislig City, overflowed forcing residents to evacuate to higher ground.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said there was little chance for the low pressure area over Mindanao to develop into a tropical depression but it would likely continue to generate moderate to heavy rains in the northern portion of the region and parts of the Visayas.

The Bicol region, Mimaropa, and the rest of the Visayas and of Mindanao are expected to have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will be cloudy with isolated light rains.—Frinston L. Lim, Nico Alconaba and Chris V. Panganiban, Inquirer Mindanao; Jeannette I. Andrade in Manila

Originally posted: 5:02 pm | Sunday, January 12th, 2014

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Floods threaten low-lying areas in Mindanao as LPA nears

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