GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 January) – Nineteen villages here and in nearby South Cotabato province were submerged in floodwaters as several rivers and irrigation channels swelled anew late on Sunday afternoon due to continuous heavy rains in the area.
Jerome Barranco, assistant director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 12, said Monday the floods affected portions of around a dozen low-lying villages in this city and seven others in Norala town
in South Cotabato.
A report from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council here said various irrigation canals traversing the city overflowed on Sunday afternoon following hours of almost nonstop heavy rains that started at around 11 .am.
Among the areas affected by the floods were portions of barangays City Heights, Lagao, San Isidro, Ligaya, Baluan, Bula, Baluan, Katangawan, Apopong, Buayan, Olympog and Conel.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio convened the CDRRMC in Barangay Baluan on Monday morning to assess the situation and discuss some remedial measures.
In South Cotabato, Barranco said an initial 79 hectares of farmlands and residential communities in seven barangays of Norala town were swamped by floodwaters due to the swelling of several rivers in the area.
He said the affected areas were barangays Esperanza, Poblacion, Lapuz, San Jose, Liberty, Simsiman and Matapol.
Citing a report from the Norala Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Coordinating Council, he said some 526 families were affected by the floods.
Barranco cited a report that said the floods damaged a bridge and various agriculture crops.
“There were no reported evacuations so far and the floodwaters in some of the affected villages in both areas have already subsided,” he said.
But the official said the flood and landslide alerts are still up in this city other parts of Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region due to the intermittent rains, which were triggered by the entry of another Low Pressure Area (LPA) and the continuing Inter-tropical Convergence Zone affecting Mindanao.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Dante Arriola, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) station here, said the LPA was tracked at around 300 kilometers southeast of Mindanao as of 4 a.m. today.
He said residents should expect moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon and late evening, that might trigger landslides and flashfloods. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)