Flashfloods hit North Cotabato villages

The floods hit the town for three days since Tuesday and damaged a bridge in Barangay F. Cajelo, 27 houses in Barangay Sibsib, and several hectares of rice and corn fields in Barangay Poblacion and other villages.

The floods also destroyed the wall of the Tulunan National High School, Taasan said.

Classes in public schools in the affected villages were suspended for two days due to flash floods.

The municipal government has released financial assistance to those affected by the floods.

In Magpet, a hinterland town in North Cotabato, Mayor Efren Pinol Sr. has ordered a thorough monitoring of residents living in landslide-prone villages as rains continued to pour since Tuesday.

"I'm worried that if rains won't stop, there might be landslides in those areas and many would be affected," said Pinol.

Almost 60 percent of the villages in Magpet are considered landslide-prone, according to reports from the municipal environment office.

The local government is also keeping a tight watch on a land crack in Barangay Binay. The fissure, which is about ten feet deep and more than a kilometer in length, was discovered in late 2006.

Pinol has ordered residents living near the crack to stay alert, especially now that the rainy season has come.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhiVolcs) has yet to release the findings of its study on the land crack, its cause and possible impact to the  communities.