Floods displace 1,000 families in Lanao town
ILIGAN CITY—Jonathan Umban, a motorcab driver whose family lives along the river in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, recalled that at the height of heavy rains on Monday night, he and his wife quickly packed up their belongings and get ready to evacuate.
“We are used to this (flood) every December and January,” Umban said of their community in Barangay Pigcarangan.
At past 6 p.m. on Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council issued an orange rainfall warning over Lanao del Norte. Three hours later, the agency upgraded it to a red warning.
Umban remembered how floodwaters quickly rose that by 10 p.m., they had to immediately climb up to the national highway, leaving all their belongings behind. At its height, the floodwater in Pigcarangan was at roof level, Umban said.
On Tuesday, what remained of the couple’s home was the concrete floor; the motorcab was also gone. Two other houses in their small neighborhood were gone.
Rains spawned by the trough of a low pressure area swamped 12 of the town’s 24 villages from Monday night until the wee hours of Tuesday.
As of Tuesday morning, the municipal disaster risk reduction and management office of Tubod town counted 1,044 families, or 5,300 individuals, affected by the floods. Of them, 376 families, or 1,634 individuals, are temporarily sheltered in evacuation centers.
Municipal rescuers were sent to save people trapped in their flooded homes in Malingao, Kalilangan, Candis, Caniogan, Licapao, Patudan, Pinpin, Pualas, Pigcarangan, Kakai Renabor, Bulod, and Poblacion, backed by teams from the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRRMO).
Responders had to use rubber boats to reach the houses in Pigcarangan, and heavy equipment in Malingao and Kalilangan due to the strong current of the flood.
The Mindanao Civic Center, a premier sports complex in Northern Mindanao located in Barangay Sagadan, was swamped with floodwaters, as well as some provincial government offices and the town’s commercial district.
On Tuesday, Mayor Jimmy Cabahug suspended work in government and private establishments in the town due to the impact of the floods.
In nearby Magsaysay town, Mayor Haron Omar told the Inquirer by phone that the heavy rains, which started around 3 p.m. on Monday, triggered a landslide that closed the national road in the village of Muna-muna.
The landslide also downed a power line of the Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative, which was repaired by Tuesday afternoon.
Omar added that the Bulod river had swelled, rendering impassable the bridge between Barangay Baguiguicon of Magsaysay and the village of Tubaran in Tubod.
A situation report prepared by the PDRRMO on Tuesday said that throughout the province, some 1,227 families in nine towns. Apart from Tubod, the floods were experienced in Baroy, Lala, Kapatagan, Kolambugan, Maigo, Magsaysay, Salvador and Sultan Naga Dimaporo towns. More than 600 people are still staying in evacuation centers.
Class, work suspension
In the Visayas, incessant rains due to low pressure area triggered suspension of classes in Eastern Visayas region while a tornado hit Iloilo City where at least three people were hurt.
Other localities that suspended work and classes were the towns of Carigara, Palo, Jaro, San Miguel, Tabontabon, Tanauan and Tolosa, all in Leyte province; Kawayan in Biliran province; and the towns of Basey and Calbiga, and Catbalogan City, all in Samar province.
In Catbalogan, a sport utility vehicle fell into a creek at 6:11 a.m. on Tuesday amid a heavy downpour.
The driver, Elmer Dauba, was taken to a local hospital.
In Maripipi town, Biliran, its disaster risk reduction management officer reported that several roads were flooded due to heavy rain.
In Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry Treñas on Tuesday announced the suspension of classes from preschool to senior high school in the city.
A tornado also hit Barangays Santo Domingo and Santa Cruz in Arevalo district at 5:30 a.m.
Based on the report of the city government, 26 houses were damaged while 13 were destroyed by the tornado in the two villages.
Affected families were transferred to evacuation centers, including the Sto. Domingo barangay hall and the Sta. Cruz barangay chapel and day care center.