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Floods swamp Ozamiz City, other towns

/ 05:12 PM February 10, 2012

OZAMIZ CITY, Philippines—Ten hours of continuous heavy rains starting Thursday evening flooded several areas in Misamis Occidental, including this city, on Friday, but no casualties have been reported, officials said.

Residents fled to higher ground as floodwaters, aggravated by high tide, swamped their homes.

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Mayor Estela Obut of the town of Tudela said 241 families were rescued from up to neck-deep waters that submerged 11 of the town’s 33 barangays.

“No one was reported hurt as we were able to respond to rescue needs in time,” she said.

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Obut said the Paca River overflowed and flooded low-lying areas of the municipality. She said several areas in the neighboring municipality of Clarin  were also inundated.

“Initial disaster survey showed that 16 houses had been damaged,” she said.

Obut said that as of noon Friday, at least three villages remained isolated from the town center because of the deep water.

Only those with boats, she said, had access to the villages of Yahong, Luksoon and Silongon.

In Ozamiz City, Mayor Nova Princess Echavez ordered the suspension of classes at the elementary and high school levels due to the floods.

Minor landslides in the village of Bitibot in the municipality of Sapang Dalaga blocked half of the national highway, constraining the flow of traffic, according to reports from other officials.

Meanwhile, in Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte, floods as deep as eight feet in many areas  had receded by Friday, according to Alemario Dagpin, secretary to the mayor.

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Councilor Apple Agolong said displaced residents from the city’s 12 flooded districts were returning home.

“So many houses were destroyed, some were washed out to sea. We are still conducting our assessment,” Dagpin said.

Adriano Fuego, director of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council in Western Mindanao, reported that 13,052 individuals were directly affected by the Dapitan flooding.

A bridge had also collapsed, he said.

Maribel Enriquez of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration office in Zamboanga City said the floods that hit Misamis Occidental and Dapitan were caused by a cold front and the northeast monsoon.

Enriquez said rains were also expected in other Mindanao areas.

“We are also monitoring a low pressure area in Southern Mindanao coupled with the tail of the cold front,” she said.

Click here for more weather related news.

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TAGS: Calamities, floods, Misamis Occidental, Ozamiz City, Weather
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