Floods destroy rice, corn farms in Cotabato areas

Among those badly affected by the flash floods were sitios Pedtad,
Lower and Upper Gaunan in Barangay Gaunan, a Moro-dominated village in
M'lang town.

Datu Abdila Pananggulong, former Moro rebel leader in Gaunan, told
DXND Radio for Peace that some 100 Moro, Ilonggo and Ilocano families
were affected by the floods.

"Most of them evacuated to higher grounds to avoid being hit by the
floods," he said.

Abdila said they are still waiting for assistance from the Municipal
Social Welfare and Development Office.

The affected rice and corn farms destroyed by the floods were ready
for harvesting, he said. "It's really a big loss to the farmers here,"
he added.

This was the second incident where Barangay Gaunan and other villages
in Tulunan, North Cotabato were hit by flash floods.

Last Aug. 3, hundreds of hectares of rice and corn fields were also
washed away when waters coming from the Malasila River, one of the
biggest and longest rivers in North Cotabato, overflowed and inundated
mostly low-lying areas in M'lang and Tulunan towns. At least six
people from a remote village in Makilala town died when their house
was buried in mud, reports from the Municipal Environment and Natural
Resources Office (MENRO) in Makilala said.

Floods, according to environment officials, are the most common and
widespread of all weather-related natural disasters in the area,
particularly the low-lying Tulunan and M'lang municipalities.