Flashfloods trigger late night evacuation in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao (MindaNews/19 June) – Some 9,000 residents in 11 barangays here were forced to leave home late Friday night due to rampaging floodwaters.

Sonny Tenorio, his wife and baby girl, and other relatives in Barangay Salimbao here were seen walking towards Cotabato City to seek refuge near midnight Friday.

“The floodwaters had reached neck-deep in our house.  Our bed floated. We had to evacuate before it’s too late,” Tenorio said.

Troops from the 37th Infantry Battalion armed with rescue bags and volunteer groups rushed to the area to help bring residents to safer grounds.

In Barangay Salimbao,  the gush of floodwaters could be heard from the national highway which was instantly converted into a parking area for vehicles pulled out from the flooded areas.

Residents felt little comfort when the floodwaters subsided on Saturday morning.

Some returned to the village to try to clean up but others remained with their relatives outside the flood-prone villages.

Mayor Datu Tucao Mastura said the floodwaters came from the upper portions of the province like the towns of Barira and Buldon that got redirected to Simuay River.

Mastura urged the  Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Cotabato-Agusan River Basin Project(CARBDP) to fast track the implementation of  the rechanneling project.

“The money is there, why did we need to wait for the rainy season before they can fix the problem?”Mastura asked.

The municipal government of Sultan Kudarat has passed a resolution to request the transfer of two Watermasters to dredge the Simuay River. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)