ILIGAN CITY(MindaNews/ 15 Aug) – At least four barangays along the national highway in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte province were affected by landslides before dawn Wednesday due to a heavy downpour triggered by tropical storm Helen.
Mayor Benjie Baguio told MindaNews the barangays affected by the landslides, which occurred at around 1 a.m., were Balili, sitio Dunggoan in Lapinig, Taguitic and Margos.
Flashfloods reportedly damaged two houses but there were no casualties, he said.
The local government unit’s disaster rescue team was mobilized to evacuate residents to the gymnasium in Kapatagan poblacion. Others sought refuge in evacuation centers set up in the higher grounds of the town.
Baguio said he requested the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Provincial Engineer’s Office to augment the local government unit in the clearing operation along a five-kilometer stretch of the national highway to allow a one-lane passage for vehicles and
commuters plying the Iligan-Zamboanga route.
“We were worried since thick clouds were hovering that might result into another heavy rain that would affect the clearing operation,” Baguio said.
In Barangay Pandanan, Sultan Naga Dimaporo town, 13 houses were hit by a whirlwind, said Annabel Mendez, chief of the Provincial Social Welfare Office.
Mendez said relief goods were given to 13 affected families, which sought refuge at the barangay hall.
Lydon Calica, provincial information officer, said Gov. Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo directed the Provincial Disaster Rescue Management Council to dispatch early dawn its first responding team to assist the affected LGUs.
“I came from Molave, Zamboanga del Sur when heavy rains occurred. Upon my arrival in Lala, I received report that the national highway from Kapatagan to Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur was no longer passable due to a landslide,” Calica said.
In August 2006, the Kapatagan national highway to Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur was also closed for two days due to a landslide brought by heavy rains and flashfloods. (MindaNews)