284 families displaced by floods, landslides in Koronadal

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 September) — Some 284 families in Koronadal City and two other municipalities in South Cotabato have been displaced following the flashfloods and landslides that hit the area Friday night, an official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12 said Monday.

Bonifacio Selma, DSWD-12’s disaster operations coordinator, said their monitoring showed that the floods and landslides, which left five people dead and six others injured, directly affected at least 162 families in Koronadal City and 122 others in the municipalities of Banga and Tupi.

He said 62 of the affected families in Koronadal, 15 in Banga and five in Tupi have sought temporary shelter in various evacuation centers in the area.

Selma said they initially provided food packs to the evacuees and deployed their social workers to conduct stress debriefings to the families of the five residents of Sitio Upper Acub in Barangay San Isidro who were killed at the height of Friday’s floods and landslides.

“We’re on standby right now and closely monitoring the situation in the area because of the continuing rains,” he said in a radio interview.

Nelida Pereira, action officer of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) of South Cotabato, said some 77 families in Banga and 45 in Tupi were affected by the calamity that hit at least two villages in the area.

In Tupi town, she said residents settled near the banks of a creek in Sitio Tucalabong in Barangay Crossing Rubber were forced to temporarily leave their homes following Friday’s flashfloods that washed away at least four houses.

She said some of the evacuees are presently staying at the Day Care Center of Sitio Tucalabong.

In Banga town, Pereira said the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council (MDCC) reported that some 77 families have been affected by the flashfloods and landslides that hit Sitio Katipunan of Barangay El Nonok last Friday.

But she said only 15 families have opted to stay at the village’s multi-purpose building, which was designated as evacuation center.

The MDCC report cited that a total of 16 houses were destroyed while five others sustained partial damages due to the floods and landslides that hit a creek in the area.

Also damaged were some 12 hectares of fish ponds and 27 of palay and corn farmlands initially valued at P500,000.

In Koronadal City, Pereira said the City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) reported that at least 62 families from Sitio Upper Acub of Barangay San Isidro are temporarily settled in at least seven classrooms at the Bacongco Elementary School.

A CDCC report noted that some 23 families were also affected by the floods in Barangay Carpenter Hill and three others in Barangay Sto. Nino.

It said three houses in Barangay Carpenter Hill were buried waist-deep silt while 11 of the 13 classrooms of the Carpenter Hill Elementary School were breached by several inches of silt and mud carried by the floods.

Pereira said disaster personnel of the affected local governments initially provided clothing, rice and other food supplies to the evacuees.

She said the PDCC augmented the relief assistance with additional food packs from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office. “The PDCC and other concerned agencies are currently evaluating the actual condition of the affected areas to determine whether it’s still safe for the evacuees to return home. Pending the proper clearance, we recommended that they remain in the evacuation centers,” Pereira said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)

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