21 dead in Mindanao floods; total of 54 since January 1

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 February) – The death toll from the floods and landslides in four Mindanao regions from January 31 to February has risen to 21,  bringing to 54 the total since January 1, records from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) show.

The LPA “brought widespread rains over Visayas and Mindanao and triggered the recurrence of flashfloods, landslides and big waves” in 11 provinces, 10 of them in Mindanao, the NDRRMC’s Situation Report number 8, released at 6 pm. February 6, said.

Of the 21 deaths listed in the report, 13 were from drowning, eight from landslides.

Caraga region, comprising the two Agusans and two Surigaos, posted 11 deaths from January 31 to February 4: three in Surigao del Norte; four in Surigao del Sur; two in Agusan del Sur; and two in Agusan del Norte.

In Northern Mindanao, Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental recorded two deaths; in Compostela Valley in Southeastern Mindanao, two;  and six in Sulu in the  Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

In January, 33 of 75 persons nationwide who died from floods were in Mindanao, NDRRMC’s Situation Report 59 on the “effects of continuous rains due to the tail-end of a cold front” as of 6 a.m. on January 31, showed.  Of the 33, 24 were in Caraga region with 14 of them from Agusan del Sur.

The recent Low Pressure Area affected 695 barangays in 10 provinces, affecting 127,102 families or 599,318 persons, the report said.

It also triggered the overflow of Lake Mainit, rendering five portions of the  Agusan del Norte-Surigao del Norte highway impassable on Wednesday and accessible only to trucks and big buses on  Thursday. Residents said it was the first time the highway turned into a virtual sea.

The overflowing of the country’s fourth largest and reportedly the deepest lake, also submerged several barangays in the lakeshore towns and neighboring areas, destroying houses and a still undetermined worth of crops.

By Saturday, only one portion of the highway was still flooded but only knee-deep. On Thursday, the flooded portions of the highway were knee-deep to meter-deep.

The latest victims of drowning were identified as Christopher Laraga, 20, and Alger Jorge Boholano, 42, of Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental; Reyam Bahan, 7, of  Barangay Dona Rosario, and Ricarte Ganzan, 70, of Barangay Binuangan in Tubay, Agusan del Norte; Ruben Ramos, 40 and year-old Richard Ramos of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Rosario, Agusan del Sur; Rocel Antipuesto of Barangay Elizalde in Maco, Compostela Valley province; and in Jolo, Sulu Abraham Pagun, 14 months; Kuris Sappayned, 72; Kasma Alih, 13; Kristina Abduhadi, 12; and two unidentified male victims.

Killed in landslides were 26-year old Carlito Benocilla, Raymond Bonotan, 25 and Romeo Aydao Boboy, Jr., 18 of Barangay Masgad, Malimono, Surigao del Norte;  57-year old Nenita Corpuz and Julie Culapu, 47, of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur; and Isagani Borja, 25, from Marihatag town and Aladin Corporal from Madrid town; and Teresita Accion, 62, of Barangay Elizalde, Maco, Compostela Valley

The NDRRMC report also listed 66 persons injured – Noel Moldera in Gingoog City and 64 in Sulu, nine of them still confined at the provincial hospital in Sulu while 56 others were outpatients)..

One person was reported missing: Amado Basadre, 30, of Barangay Matingbe, San Francisco, Surigao del Norte.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas with a report from Roel Catoto/MindaNews)