In North Cotabato town, forced evacuation seen
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines—The municipal government of Arakan, North Cotabato, plans to forcibly evacuate residents living near creeks, mountain slopes and rivers to avoid the loss of lives and property.
The municipal government on Friday declared a state of calamity after flash floods and landslides hit Barangay (village) Napaliko.
“We placed the entire town under state of calamity so we can use our calamity fund,” Arakan Mayor Rene Rubino said.
About 60 hectares of rice and corn fields in Napaliko were destroyed by the flash floods.
Rubino said there were residents living beside mountain slopes, in valleys sitting on soft soil and along river banks considered hazardous by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
“We have prepared an emergency plan for that. If the situation worsens, we may execute forced evacuation,” he said in a radio interview.
The families, whose houses were damaged and destroyed, were being attended to by the local social welfare office, Rubino said.
Residents were told to stay away from where a landslide destroyed houses and crops on Wednesday following two days of heavy downpour brought about by an intertropical convergence zone.
He said five houses were buried in mud, rocks and uprooted trees that cascaded from higher ground. Also buried were work animals and other valuables.
Since villagers had expected the landslide, they fled to safer ground, thus no casualties were reported.
North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza has placed the provincial disaster teams on alert so they could quickly to flash floods and landslides.