115 families affected in Bukidnon floods, P18.5M worth of crops damaged

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/1 March) – A sudden rise of the water level of the Pulangi River on Monday affected 115 families and damaged crops worth at least P18.5 million in three low-lying barangays, according to the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC).

The flooded areas were Barangays Batangan and Catumbalon and Purok 1 of Poblacion Barangay, said Jovy Ellacone, Valencia CDRRMC operation point person.

According to a report by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, the flood occurred at 4 a.m. Monday after heavy rains in the upper portion of Pulangi River.

In Batangan, 29 families were affected, including six whose houses have been totally washed out and two who were forced to wreck it just to rescue some belongings.

In Catumbalon, an agricultural area, the PSWDO reported about a total of 70 affected families. Ellacone said 61 families have damaged crops estimated at P18.465 million. The CDRRMC reported damage over 102 hectares of farms, 85 hectares of which are planted to sugarcane.

Residents along the river in the downtown Purok 7 were not spared. Eight families lost their homes when flood washed their dwellings.

The PSWDO report said water level returned to normal at 9 a.m. on the same day.

Ellacone said the rise of the river’s water level in October 2010 washed out five houses in Barangay Batangan.

“But this one is an even higher level,” he said.

According to the Department of Science and Technology, the amount of rainfall in Valencia was gauged at 84.2 millimeter. Philippine Information Agency-Bukidnon quoted DOST Bukidnon staff Ritchie Mae Lumilang as saying that a 50-millimeter rainfall in low-lying areas is already “critical.”

Arsenio Alagenio, Bukidnon provincial welfare and development officer, initiated relief operations Tuesday, distributing 10 sacks of NFA rice, five boxes of sardines, and five boxes of noodles to the affected families. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)