10 provinces reel from heavy rain; Butuan in calamity state
Fourteen people were killed, 37 were injured, 13 still missing, even as hundreds of houses, roads and bridges were destroyed by heavy flooding and landslides after a low pressure area-induced monsoon rains descended into ten provinces in Mindanao, including the entire Caraga Region; Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, disaster management officials said on Monday.
The heavy rain, which flooded the same areas visited by typhoon Pablo in December 2012, also forced thousands of residents to flee their homes and seek refuge at government shelters.Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley were the same provinces which bore the brunt of Typhoon Pablo (Bopha), and are still recovering from the disaster two years ago. Pablo’s wrath killed at least 1,000 residents.
The LPA, which weather experts said was located 70 kilometers southwest of Cagayan de Oro City, is the first natural disaster to hit the country in 2014, and occurred two months after typhoon Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas.
National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Executive Director Eduardo Del Rosario said that based on reports from the Office of Civil Defense-Region 11, Davao Oriental had the most number of fatalities with seven, while six were from Compostela Valley.
The OCD-11 said five persons died in Barangay Dadong, Tarragona, six in Compostela Valley; one in Barangay Andap, New Bataan and two in Monkayo.
Local officials also dispatched search-and-rescue teams near Mr. Diwata in Monkayo, where four persons were reported missing.
At least 86 barangays in 26 municipalities from 10 provinces in Eastern and Southern Mindanao are currently submerged in flood water, forcing residents to climb to rooftops to seek for help.
The LPA which triggered five days of continous rains has displaced 26,801 families or 132,379 individuals evacuated to various government shelters.
Of this total, 23,000 families were from eight municipalities which were previously victims of Typhoon “Pablo”. Some 1,566 families affected were recorded in Compostela Valley and 1,154 families in Davao Del Norte.
The local disaster unit said a 79 evacuation centers were activated to shelter the growing number of evacuees.
The NDRRMC, meanwhile, said the fatalities include two children, a 2-year old baby identified surnamed Aquino, and 6-year old Jenemae Gonzales, both of Brgy Babag, Mount Diwata, Compostela Valley; Francisco Lupe and Edie Largo, both of Barangay Ngan, Monkayo town also in Compostela Valley and Melito Gortina, 19, of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.
Of the 13 missing, five disappeared after a landslide. The NDRMMC added that several major roads and bridges in Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte were damaged and had been rendered impassable to all types of vehicles.
Some of the major bridges which were damaged by heavy flooding include the Lumao and Papag-Taytayan bridgez in Cateel, Manorigao Bridge, Quinonoan Bridge in Manay, Chicote Bridge in Gov. Generoso town, Sobrecarey bridge, Bungo bridge, San Jose bridge in Caraga; Pasabangan bridge in Asuncion, Agusan del Sur; Saoquegue and Central bridges in Baganga.
Three hanging bridges and six temporary bridges in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental were also damages by the flood waters.
Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon said over a television interview that due to the heavy damages to the bridges, some towns in her province had been isolated, making it difficult for relief assistance to reach the affected areas.
“All bridges connecting some of our towns were damaged. So, ‘yan ang pinakamalaking problema namin… how to reach all of these towns,” she noted.
Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, meanwhile, said the DPWH is “monitoring how we can restore those damaged bridges as soon as possible.”
Singson said they would put up temporary bridges while the bridges are being repaired.
As this developed, Butuan City in Agusan del Norte was placed under a state of calamity as heavy rains continue to hit the capital.
“Butuan City is still on Alert level 3 with water level of 2.98 m as of 6:00 am. The Butuan CDRRMC (City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) recommended for a Declaration of State of Calamity,” Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante said.
Amante said 2,391 families had already been evacuated.
At least 8, 284 hectares of agricultural land planted with Corn and rice, mostly in Davao Oriental were badly damaged by cascading flood waters descending from mountain ridges.
In Agusan del Sur, 30 houses made of light materials were reportedly washed out due to flashfloods in Barangay Pagtilaan while three more houses were totally damaged due to a landslide and a house was destroyed by an uprooted coconut tree in Barangay San Roque, all in the coastal town of San Miguel in Surigao del Sur.
The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur said 166 families or 664 individuals have been evacuated from Barangays Tina and San Miguel Poblacion.
Classes at all levels were also suspended in Butuan Ciy, Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte.
The Office of Civil Defense Caraga regional office also reported landslide incidents in Barangay Sumile, Butuan City, and along the national highway in Barangay Nurcia, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur.
In Dinagat Islands, six were killed while two others were still missing due to landslides in Bgy. Poblacion in Cagdianao,
Boulders of rocks and soil buried five houses in the area, killing all six.
The death toll had risen to eight in Caraga Region alone after two persons were killed due to drowning after being carried away by strong river current in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte provinces.
The two casualty victims were earlier pronounced as missing.
They were identified as Jolito Solimo Agatia, 32 and 14-year old Michael Paran.
In Compostela Valley, 1,090 people living in low-lying barangays in Compostela Valley near the Manat river had been evacuated.
Montevista Mayor Topoy Jayectin said preemptive evacuations had already been in place as early as Saturday.
In Montevista, 80% of barangay Banagbanag has been reportedly submerged with flood waters, with rescue operations being conducted by the Provincial Disaster Council.
Toto Aldaya, Compostela provincial community relations officer, said in an interview that the bridge along the Montevista, New Bataan national highway leading to Compostela has been rendered unpassable, with waters flowing over the bridge itself.
Elsewhere in Comval, landslides have been reported in Mt. Diwata, Monkayo; Barangays San Isidro and Bukal, Nabunturan; and Barangay Binuangan, Maco Comval.
Mayor Jayectin added that the provincial government has added rescue and security personnel to their municipality to help out with coordinating rescue and evacuation efforts.
In Agusan del Sur, PDRRMC Council chairman Governor Adolph Edward Plaza asked the different local municipal chief executives of the province to decide on whether classes will be suspended in their respective areas of responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the NDRRMC reported that more than 4,200 passengers were stranded in different ports in the Visayas and Bicol after the Coast Guard prevented ships from sailing due to big waves and strong winds in the regions.
Most of the stranded passengers were in Cebu Port, Tagbilaran Port in Bohol and Matnog Port in Sorsogon, Coast Guard chief information officer Cdr. Armand Balilo.
In Visayas, the Coast Guard prevented four motor boats and 16 ships from sailing because of rough seas in Cebu and Tagbilaran.
Balilo said although there is no typhoon warning signal, a gale warning was hoisted by the state weather bureau over the provinces affected by LPA. He added that the northeast monsoon and easterly winds also caused the sea condition along the eastern seaboard of the country to be rough.
The Coast Guard said operators of small vessels, motor bancas and fishing boats are also advised to avoid sailing the where sea condition is rough. With Francisco Tuyay, Joel Zurbano, Alvin Guanzon and Yas Ocampo
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