73,000 families displaced by Agaton floods in BARMM | Inquirer News

73,000 families displaced by Agaton floods in BARMM

Mindanao. STORY: 73,000 families displaced by Agaton floods in BARMM

Mindanao map

COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines —More than 73,000 families were displaced by floods in Bangsamoro communities due to heavy rains spawned by Tropical Storm Agaton in the past few days.

According to the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), 48,845 families composed of 244,225 individuals fled their homes in 145 villages of 13 towns in Maguindanao province.


In Cotabato province’s 63 villages that form part of the BARMM’s special geographic area, flood waters engulfed the homes of 27,286 families or some 136,000 individuals although many of them opted not to evacuate so they could look after their belongings.


No casualty has been reported, so far.

“I stay here but my husband is in our house where there is neck-level water to guard our valuables,” said Bai Intan Sumail, 40, who is staying with her children in a makeshift shelter along the roadside in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.

“It’s so hard for us because we are fasting. We are used to floods but now is another story because of fasting,” she added.

Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown during the holy month of Ramadan which started last April 2.

BARMM Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the region’s humanitarian arm has already extended emergency aid to affected families in Maguindanao, in cooperation with the MSSD, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform, and other international humanitarian agencies.

The regional government has also deployed emergency relief assistance to residents of the 43 villages of Taraka town in Lanao del Sur which were flooded on Monday.


In Pikit, Cotabato province, 32 villages were hit by flood as water in the 220,000-hectare Ligawasan Marsh swelled from continuous torrential rains.

As of Tuesday, 16 villages near the marsh area remain underwater.

According to Tahira Kalantungan, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, while some families evacuated, others either stayed in their homes or sought refuge in their motorized boats, floating about the waters near their houses.

“The people of Pikit are used to it (floods) already. They are resilient; that is why they invested in a motorized banca that served as their shelter once their area was hit by floods,” Kalantungan told reporters in Kidapawan City.

Kalantungan also disclosed that hundreds of hectares of rice and cornfields, and fish cages were damaged by the rampaging waters.

On Tuesday, the town of Pagalungan, Maguindanao was still under knee-deep flooding, including the newly constructed municipal hall.

In Zamboanga City, the Department of Education suspended on Tuesday the face-to-face classes in the villages of Sta. Catalina, Tugbungan, Baliwasan, and Talon-Talon due to floods.

Zamboanga City has been experiencing intermittent rains due to ‘Agaton’ for several days.


Almost 140,000 individuals affected by Agaton – NDRRMC

Agaton weakens into LPA but will still cause heavy rainfall

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