North Cot flash flood kills 6

Mario Calayco, chair of barangay Poblacion, identified two of the fatalities as Merlyn Calayco and her 17-year-old daughter Jinky. Rescuers recovered their bodies this morning along sitio Pucong in Barangay Idaoman in President Roxas.

Merlyn’s husband, Ronilo, told dxND that the floods took him and his family by surprise.

“We used to stay in our house even if the rains were heavy. Last Monday, we decided to stay inside our house. But when we saw floodwaters coming from all directions, we had to run. My wife and my daughter, though, did not survive,” he said

FLOODED. Residents of Barangay Bulit in Datu Montawal town in Maguindanao, move their valuables to the shoulder of the highway as floodwaters rose chest-deep early Tuesday morning, January 27, as demonstrated by man in center. MindaNews photo by Carolyn O. Arguillas

Calayco said the flood that hit the town last Monday “was the worst since the 1990s.” He said barangays Poblacion, Idaoman, Tuael and Nagcarlan in President Roxas were severely hit by the flash floods.

He reported that at least 10 houses made of light materials were damaged by the flash floods.

The affected families have sought refuge at the President Roxas Central Elementary School while the rest stayed at their relatives in nearby villages.

Several hectares of rice fields were also submerged in floodwaters, Calayco said.

Johnny Herbilla, a resident of Tuael, said it was his first time to see big waves from the river going down to the poblacion and other low-lying areas.

“We had to run to be able to survive,” he said in the vernacular.

Herbilla, whose house is situated along the riverbank, has lived in Tuael for 48 years. 

NO CLASSES. The Bulit Elementary School in Barangay Bulit, Datu Montawal, Maguindanao is also under water. MindaNews photo by Carolyn O. Arguillas

On Saturday, residents of barangay Alegria, also in President Roxas, found the body of tricycle driver Marciano Almedilla, 45, who drowned while traversing a river along the poblacion in Magpet.

Rescuers, however, have yet to recover three residents of Kabacan who drowned when Kabacan River, one of the longest rivers in the province, overflowed after two days of heavy rains. 

Some 20 families living near the same river abandoned their homes when the water level rose.

Sacdalan meanwhile announced that the construction of a P40-million concrete flood control dike would start soon.

“This was after we convinced the owner of the lot where the control dike would be constructed. We’ve been convincing the family to donate the lot for the project. After what happened, they already conceded to our request,” he said. (Malu Cadelina Manar and Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)