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Hundreds flee floods in Maguindanao, Cotabato

09:20 PM September 23, 2011

COTABATO CITY—Hundreds of residents in 14 towns in Maguindanao and this city were displaced by floods brought by torrential rains the past few days, according to authorities yesterday.

The floods also prompted the suspension of classes in many towns.

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Pombaen Karon Kadir, social welfare secretary in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said relief goods were being distributed in the flooded towns.

Kadir said at least 10,000 families were displaced, but figures from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council were different. The council said the number of displaced families was as high as 16,000.

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The council identified the worst hit towns as Mangudadatu, Paglat and Buluan, all in Maguindanao. Also hit were the towns of Pandag and Sultan sa Barongis.

Kadir said at least 7,000 families were forced to evacuate when rivers and tributaries overflowed in the towns of Montawal, Pagalungan and Kabuntalan Mother.

Montawal and Pagalungan are along the Pulangui River which emanates from Agusan.

“We have enough emergency food packs,” Kadir said. She said no casualties were reported.

She said the supply of relief goods at the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in ARMM was enough only to augment those from municipal and provincial relief agencies.

Abdulwahab Tunga, provincial administrator of Maguindanao, said classes in 11 public schools had been suspended since Thursday after the Rio Grande de Mindanao and Lake Buluan overflowed.

Miriam Kawit, Maguindanao division superintendent, said classes in the towns of Buluan and Montawal were suspended due to flash floods.

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“Fish cages of local traders at the lake of Buluan were damaged. Some roads are not passable for light vehicles,” Tunga said.

He listed the towns hit by floods as Buluan, Datu Paglat, SK Pendatun, Mangudadatu, Datu Paglas, Sultan sa Barongis, Rajah Buayan, Datu Odin, Northern Kabuntalan, Montawal, Pagalungan, Mother Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, Talitay and Datu Piang.

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said authorities were assessing the damage that the floods wrought to crops and properties.

“So far there were no reported cases of fatalities,” he said.

Cynthia Sayadi, city administrator, told the Inquirer that some low-lying villages in the city were also flooded.

The national disaster council tally on the number of people displaced wasn’t complete yet as of yesterday afternoon. Edwin Fernandez and Jeoffrey Maitem, Inquirer Mindanao with DJ Yap in Manila

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TAGS: Cotabato, Flood, Maguindanao
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