DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 May) – The famous Asik-asik Falls in Alamada, North Cotabato is now temporarily off limits to tourists following the diarrhea outbreak that left eight people dead and hospitalized 180 others.
[caption id="attachment_55541" align="alignleft" width="620"] TEMPORARILY CLOSED. The local government of Alamada has temporarily closed Asik-asik Falls following a diarrhea outbreak in the area. File photo taken 4 February 2014. MindaNews photo by Keith Bacongco[/caption]
Melissa Bagsican, municipal information officer, said Asik-asik Falls will remain close until the health officials would declare the area outbreak-free.
She said that health officials have already gathered water and stool samples to determine the cause of the outbreak.
Asik-asik, a curtain-like waterfall in Sitio Dulao of Barangay Dado, is the top tourist destination in the province.
Thirteen of the sitios in Dado, including Dulao, are affected by the outbreak, according to a press statement released by the provincial government.
On Tuesday, the information officer told MindaNews that they suspect that pesticides may have caused the diarrhea outbreak
Farmers in the upland areas have recently applied pesticides on their corn farms and the rains may have washed the pesticides down to the rivers and water springs, Bagsican said.
Aside from Dado, other affected barangays are Mapurok, Pigcawaran and recently Rangayen, she disclosed, adding that these barangays are part of the town’s watershed area.
Most of the patients are being treated at the hospitals in Libungan and Midsayap, while some are at the barangay center in Dado, Bagsican said.