Flashfloods displace residents in 6 Bukidnon villages

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/26 May) — Heavy rains on Wednesday triggered  flash floods in four barangays in Cabanglasan town, and one each in Malaybalay and Valencia cities displacing a total of at least 67 families, according to separate reports from the provincial and city government disaster risk reduction and management councils.

According to Arsenio Alagenio, provincial social welfare and development officer, flash floods affected “15 families and still under assessment” in three villages in Cabanglasan namely, Cabulohan, Imbatug, and Capinonan.

Residents reported that  the flood started at 2 p.m. and washed out three houses in Cabulohan.

The Valderrama Bridge, connecting Cabulohan and Imbatug was under water. The Cabanglasan town proper has remained isolated from Malaybalay City as of press time because vehicles could not get through Summit Pass.

The report said continuous rain caused the flooding.

Water subsided by 10 p.m. but Cerferina Caina, Arsenio’s deputy, said the Summit Pass has remained slippery for motorists as of press time. When the flood passed, a resident found out electricity was cut.

She said water overflowed from the Bobonawan River. Downstream, in Batangan, Valencia City, overflowing water also flooded villages.

The Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative announced over radio station DXDB that heavy rains destroyed their lines and that power will be restored by May 28 in some areas and May 29 in other villages.

Rescuers in Cabanglasan saved thee persons who were stranded in the middle of Capinonan River.

Cabanglasan councilor Art Ravelo said Capinonan is the worst hit village where five houses were washed out and three carabaos drowned. Ravelo confirmed that the main roads to the town are “not passable” as of Thursday afternoon because of mudslides.

He confirmed that food and clothing assistance from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council have reached the flood victims.

In Malaybalay City, where flashfloods struck a sitio in San Jose barangay, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that 42 families fled their homes and are now in the evacuation center in Panamucan Elementary School.

Herculano Ronolo, acting city administrator, told MindaNews that floodwaters washed out 16 houses and partially damaged 18 others. No one was reported hurt. Residents told rescuers rain started at 2 p.m.. and that they heard a big thud at 4p.m. just before the waters of the Panamucan River widened from four meters to 24. Ronolo said residents believe there was a tornado locally known as “buhawi.”

Residents trooped to higher ground but fled the area after noticing cracks on the soil. Ronolo said when they reached the village they saw villagers unable to cross the river because of the strong current.

He said water subsided Thursday morning but the flashfloods destroyed at least 24 hectares of rice and corn farms. They estimated the damage at P800,000 for agriculture. But no estimate for property has been released so far.

He said the City Social Welfare and Development Office brought food and clothing enough for a week. The City Health Office also fielded personnel to attend to medical needs of the victims, he added.

The city government launched Thursday its Tabang (Help) Panamucan Program. They called for food, clothing, drinking water, medicines and other needs.  (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)