Flash floods strike Northern Mindanao anew; thousands displaced

PDCC head Teodoro Sabugaa Jr. said the floods affected 64 barangays in the towns of Balingasag, Medina, Lagonglong, El Salvador, Alubijid, Opol, Naawan, Manticao, Tagloan, Balingoan, Initao, Jasaan, Talisayan and Salay and Gingoog City.

A week before, flash floods also hit 10 barangays of Cagayan de Oro City after the Cagayan River overflowed owing to cloudbursts in nearby Bukidnon province.

Sunday’s floods, however, affected more areas and caused more damage. 

Carmelito Lupo, chief of the Office of Civil Defense in Northern Mindanao, said at least 9,000 families in Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, El Salvador and Iligan City were evacuated to safer grounds.

Five persons in Cagayan de Oro were reported missing and two others, including one in Iligan, were killed by landslides, Lupo said.

The floods destroyed the foundation of a bridge along the highway in Opol prompting authorities to close it Sunday night to vehicular traffic.

Thousands of passengers going to Iligan City and the Zamboanga peninsula yesterday were stranded by a traffic jam that stretched at least 15 kilometers after the bridge was closed.

Commuters had to abandon their vehicles and walk to the other side of the bridge, Sabugaa said.

He said the calamity occurred at the same time that the moon was said to have moved closer to the earth and spawned highest sea tide recorded in Misamis Oriental.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education has ordered the indefinite suspension of all classes in the affected areas.

The ban on sea travel between Camiguin and Balingoan was still in effect as of today, the Coast Guard said.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Constantino Jaraula has ordered the suspension of all mining operations in the city’s upland barangays.

He blamed rampant mining as one of the major reasons for the flash floods. (MindaNews)