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Calamity state in Maguindanao

/ 09:30 PM September 29, 2011

COTABATO CITY—Maguindanao was placed under a state of calamity after devastating floods have displaced at least 350,000 people in 16 towns in the province over the past two weeks.

Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said yesterday that the provincial government’s decision would enable it to speed up delivery of food and other assistance to about 50,000 families in Buluan, Datu Paglat, SK Pendatun, Mangudadatu, Datu Paglas, Sultan sa Barongis, Rajah Buayan, Datu Odin, Northern Kabuntalan, Montawal, Pagalungan, Mother Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, Talitay, Datu Piang and another town he did not name.

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Four people have been confirmed dead since the destruction, brought about by overflowing tributaries due to heavy siltation and choking fields of water hyacinths, started on Sept. 17, Mangudadatu said.

Health teams were also dispatched to the evacuation centers, he said.

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Classes have remained suspended in the entire province as schools are still inaccessible due to the floods.

Mangudadatu said civilian and military volunteers had continued to unclog the major tributaries of water hyacinths to hasten the flow of current to the open sea.

But he acknowledged that despite their efforts, it would be difficult for Maguindanao to recover from the destruction.

“Fish cages, corns and rice up for harvest were destroyed. We are still assessing the total damage to crops and property,” the governor said.

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