TACURONG CITY (MindaNews/24 June) – Flashfloods brought about by continuous heavy rains since Tuesday night displaced nearly 5,000 families (around 25,000 individuals) in this city and the towns of Lambayong, Lutayan, Bagumbayan and Isulan on Wednesday.
According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, some 4,730 families or around 26,015 individuals were forced to flee their homes as flashfloods coming from the mounains of Tampakan and Tupi in South Cotabato, caused the Buayan river to overflow. Residents started returning to their homes as soon as the flood subsided.
The rampaging floodwaters also destroyed two bridges connecting the towns of Lutayan in Sultan Kudraat and Koronadal City in South Cotabato.
Kapingkong and Ala River also overflowed, causing floods in the two provinces.
Residents in Barangay Tinumigues in Lambayong town fled their villages due to the rising waters. They said they were surprised that the waters rose so fast at around 10 a.m.
Residents of Isulan town near the national highway saw how the floodwaters from the Kapingkong river reached their area.
The PDRRMC said floodwaters destroyed several houses in Bagumbayan while several farm animals were killed in Lutayan .
The PDRRMC has yet to estimate the extent of the damage in agriculture.
The provincial government immediately deployed personnel to create an alternate route for motorists and cargo trucks.
Rep. Raden Sakaluran of the 1st district in Sultan Kudarat said “meron na kasing mga crack doon sa bridge, sabi ng South Cotabato, baka masisira din” (there are cracks on the bridge, according to South Cotabato officials, it might be destroyed).
Sakaluran’s wife, Lutayan Mayor Ruth Mangudadatu-Sakaluran said the alternative route was intended for light vehicles to ensure access for Lutayan residents.
The provincial government has dispatched rescue teams to Barangay Kenram in Isulan town which floodwaters reached Wednesday night.
Henry Albano, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, said it was Governor Suharto Mangudadatu himself who dispatched dump trucks to evacuate affected families. He pointed to a dump truck en route to Lambayong town.
In neighboring South Cotabato, a landslide in Tupi town killed three residents as flashfloods struck the towns of Banga, Norala, Tantangan, Tupi and Koronadal City due to the swelling of several rivers and tributaries.
Ira Aguinaldo, staff member of the Tupi Municipal DRRM Office (MDRRMO), said three casualties were reported in the landslide that hit a portion of Purok Tinago, Sitio Akmaon in Barangay Bunao early Wednesday. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / mindanews)