Floods submerge close to 100 villages in Agusan Sur; other parts of Caraga also affected

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews/01 February) — Floods brought about by torrential rains since last week have submerged 97 barangays of Agusan del Sur as of late afternoon Tuesday, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

Classes in all levels as well as work in both public and private offices have been suspended in the entire province after the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) raised alert level 3 in the whole Caraga Region.

Caraga Region covers the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

In San Francisco, Agusan del Sur evacuees from five barangays in the town proper sought refuge at the municipal gymnasium.

Several barangays in this town especially the rice fields were also under water.

No casualty has been reported however.

The PDRRMC is yet to release a report on the damage to infrastructures and agriculture caused by the floods.

The council also warned people living in hilly or mountainous areas of possible landslides and those in low-lying areas that the water level may rise.

It may be recalled that Agusan del Sur was one of the provinces worst hit by floods early in January this year brought about my monsoon rains. Damage to infrastructures and agriculture ran into hundreds of millions of pesos and 19 lives were lost.

In its bulletin as of 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, the NDRRMC reported that Reyam Bahan of Barangay Dona, Rosario, Tubay, Agusan del Norte drowned.

At least two barangays in Buenavista town and two others in Remedios T. Romualdez town of the same province were flooded, the report said.

Forced evacuation was implemented in the low-lying and landslide prone areas of the region, NDRRMC added.

In Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte classes in the elementary and high school levels have been suspended since Monday.

Meanwhile, the water level in Agusan River increased to 3 from 1.4 meters this morning forcing the Butuan City Water District to close its pressure regulatory valve after the water turned turbid. (Alexis Cabardo/MindaNews contributor with reports from H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)