Mother, child missing after floods sweep Tulunan town

Gina Ingkal, 28, and daughter Christine Joy, 2, were seen swept away by floodwaters at around 3:00 pm Thursday, together with their horse, when they tried to cross Kinda River in Barangay Daeg, in the boundary of Tulunan, North Cotabato and Magsaysay in Davao del Sur.

Search and rescue volunteers have not recovered the bodies of the mother and the child.

The volunteers believed the strong current had dragged them downstream, which is connected to Magsaysay River in nearby Magsaysay town.

This was the second incident of drowning in North Cotabato due to heavy rains this week.

Two days ago, rescuers recovered the body of Faustino Ferdinand Fernandez, 58, of Barangay Singao, and his horse after they crossed the Nuangan River.

Fernandez body was recovered in the riverbank of Barangay Ugpay, M'lang, some 200 kilometers west of this city.

Fernandez' horse had been found five hours earlier in the riverbank of barangay Kalaisan.   From there the rescuers followed a trail that led them to his body.

Heavy rains since Monday caused rivers in North Cotabato to overflow and inundate low-lying villages in Tulunan, M'lang, and this city.

City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco already issued the warning to residents to vacate riverbanks and low-lying villages in anticipation of more storms to  hit the region. He also directed the City Disaster Coordinating Council to dispatch the warning to villagers.

Last week, the Cotabato Provincial Government declared the province under a "state of calamity" after heavy rains swamped more than 8,500 hectares of agricultural lands in at least five towns in the first district. (MindaNews)