Up to 25 dead in Davao flashflood, officials say
DAVAO – Up to 25 people were killed and up to 15 others were missing as a flashflood triggered by heavy rains devastated a riverside community in the Philippines, rescuers said Wednesday.
The downpour drenched large parts of Davao city on the southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday night, causing the Matina River to rise and flood its banks, officials said.
Mayor Sarah Duterte said in a text message to INQUIRER.net on Wednesday that 15 people died and were identified as Lydia Balderosa, 66; Rowena
Balderosa, 7; Alexander Baricuatro, 4; Alexandrea Baricuatro, 7; Jame Bawo, 6; Conchita Bawo, 7; Alora Baricuatro, 8; Jason Saturos, 7; Kenneth Tan Paches, 4; Angelita Paches, 65; Chen Sorinio, 2; Tito Servidad, 53; Beth Amatus, 7; John Alvarez, 3; and an unidentified victim.
Earlier in the day, Artemio Jimenez, village chairman of Bangkal, said based on reports, most of the fatalities were from his village.
Jimenez said at least 10 more remained missing as of Wednesday morning.
At least 15,000 families fled their homes when floods, spawned by heavy rains, swept everything in its path.
One resident of Talomo district said they had to climb the roofs of their house just to escape the rampaging water.
Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte described the floods that hit the villages of Bangkal, Matina Crossing, Matina Aplaya and Matina Pangi as the worst disaster to hit the city in decades.
“Davao City experienced the highest level of floodwaters to date, reaching up to 10 feet [three metres],” the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in a statement.
Military rescuers have so far recovered 25 corpses after most of the floodwaters subsided Wednesday, said Major Jacob Obligado, commander of a local army battalion taking part in the search and rescue effort.
Three of the bodies had not been identified and it was unclear if they included some of the 15 residents declared missing from the area or if there were other previously unknown victims, Obligado told Agence France-Presse.
Last week, Tropical Storm “Falcon” (international codename: Maeri) also caused flooding and forced the evacuation of 90,000 people in the capital Manila and in nearby provinces.
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