Koronadal vice mayor says flash floods wakeup call on environment

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/12 September) – The flash floods late Friday that triggered landslides and killed five persons should serve as a wakeup call for people to care for the environment, a local official said.

“We should plant more trees in the mountains, refrain from dumping wastes in the creeks and start declogging waterways [to avoid a repeat of the incident],” Vice Mayor Eliordo U. Ogena said.

Last Friday, a downpour that lasted nearly two hours triggering flashfloods and landslides.

The floods worsened after a portion of a dike collapsed that the highway in Barangay Carpenter, which connects this city and General Santos, was eventually closed to traffic.

Vehicles were allowed to pass the highway at around 2 a.m. Saturday after heavy engineering equipment removed silts and debris that blocked the road.

Mayor Peter B. Miguel and other local officials meanwhile said they are mulling to place this city under a state of calamity.

Ogena said they are awaiting the final assessment report of the flashfloods as basis on whether a declaration of a state of calamity was needed.

The vice mayor added there’s a need to institute flood control measures to avoid a repeat of the incident but noted this needs assistance from the national government since it would require a huge budget.

It was not the first time that floods hamper traffic along the affected road but it was the worst in recent memory.

Miguel said large volumes of floodwaters from the mountains that swelled towards Barangay Carpenter Hill submerged several houses as high as four feet.

Policemen helped search and retrieve the bodies of the fatalities, including a 10-month old baby.

Koronadal is the seat of government of Southwestern Mindanao, which covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

It is also the capital of South Cotabato. (MindaNews)

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