Rains end drought, bring landslide
CANDIJAY, Bohol—The good news for Bohol came in the form of heavy rains that ended the province’s ordeal with drought brought by the El Niño phenomenon.
With it, however, came a bit of bad news. The rains washed out a portion of this town’s rice terraces in the village of Cadapdapan.
Village residents expressed alarm as the area that had been washed out is getting bigger as the rains continued.
One of the rice fields, owned by village councilor William Palma, had been parched when Bohol was hit by the drought.
When heavy rains came on June 22, a landslide ate up a portion of the terraces in Cadapdapan, an upland village about 8 kilometers from the town proper.
As of Sunday, the landslide created a crater that is at least 100 meters long, five meters wide and at least six meters deep.
Resident Gemina Palma, 56, said she was surprised to see a portion of the terraces give way when she woke up on Thursday.
She thought there had been another earthquake.
Although Palma’s house was at least 150 meters from the landslide area, she worried about her and her family’s safety.
Another resident, Rufino Cinco, 48, said his family was sleeping when the rains came.
He and his wife, Linda, 44, were surprised to see the landslide some 50 meters from their house.
“Sometimes we can’t sleep at night, especially when it rains because we are worried about the landslide,” Cinco said.
The landslide also altered the landscape at the rice terraces, which is being considered as a tourist attraction in the province.
Tourists come to the area when rice paddies turn vivid green and golden during the harvest season.
Candijay is among the top rice-producing towns of the province.
Rice terraces are also found in the villages of Tambongan, Canawa, Panadtaran, Cambane, Abilihan, Lungsud-daan, Anoling and Luan, where the farms had been compared to their more famous cousins in Banaue, a town in Ifugao province.
Jeryl Lacang-Fuentes, municipal disaster risk reduction and management office head, said residents were advised to stay alert.
Cadapdapan, Fuentes said, is among eight villages in this town that had been tagged as landslide-prone.
The others are the villages of Cambane, Luan, Tambongan, Poblacion, Tawid, Panad and Can-oli.
The rains also forced the evacuation of at least 7,500 residents in the towns of Matalam and Kabacan in North Cotabato province.
David Don Saure, municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer of Kabacan, said at least 800 families from the villages of Kuyapon, Malamote, Upper Paatan and Bangilan fled their homes as floodwater reached waist-deep.
Saure said the Kabacan and Pulangi Rivers swelled, bringing runoff water to low-lying villages and farms.
Hundreds of hectares of fields, newly planted with rice, were submerged in flood.
Some villagers stayed with relatives while others set up camp near the highway.
In nearby Matalam town, at least 600 families fled when the Malamote River overflowed on Tuesday. With a report from Williamor A. Magbanua, Inquirer Mindanao
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