40 families flee floods in Polomolok

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 July) — Some 40 families of a riverside community in Polomolok town in South Cotabato fled to higher ground as flashfloods swept the area on Saturday afternoon.

A report from the South Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the floods were triggered by hours of torrential rains that eventually caused the Matin-ao River in Polomolok town to overflow.

John Lorca, PDRRMO operations officer, said the affected families were mostly residents of Purok Riverside in Barangay Silway 8.

He said local rescue teams facilitated the evacuation of the area’s residents on Saturday evening due to the rising water level along the river, which drains towards the Sarangani Bay through the Silway River here.

Citing initial reports from the Polomolok Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, 14 families lost their homes after being swept by the rushing floodwaters.

In General Santos City, six houses situated near the banks of the Silway River were damaged and washed away by the floods in Silway Fatima, Barangay Dadiangas West on Saturday night.

The affected residents were also evacuated to safer grounds by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 12 said it is still validating reports on the other flooding incidents in the area.

Jerome Barranco, acting OCD Region 12 director, said the flood and landslide alerts remain in effect in parts of the region due to the sporadic rains caused by an Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting the area.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration noted in its Sunday forecast that Mindanao will continue to experience cloudy skies with light top moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms due to effects of the ITCZ. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)