Officials mull relocation of residents living near Glan River

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/06 May) – Disaster officials in Sarangani province have recommended the immediate relocation of residents living near a major river in the coastal municipality of Glan following the flashfloods earlier this week that displaced more than 500 families in the area.

Glan Mayor Victor James Yap Sr. said Friday the results of assessments made by the Sarangani and Glan Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils showed that portions of the communities located near the critical Glan River were considered as “high risk areas” due to their vulnerability to severe flooding.

“(The disaster councils) cited the need to relocate all those situated at the riverbanks to avert possible tragedies in case another major flashflood occurs in the area,” the mayor said.

Several communities in Barangays Poblacion, Ilaya and Tapon in Glan were submerged in floodwaters late Tuesday night after a portion of the Glan River overflowed and triggered flashfloods in the area.

The floods, which also affected three other neighboring villages, occurred after almost two days of continuous, heavy rains mainly in the upper portions of the municipality.

No casualties were reported as a result of the floods but the local government noted that at least 575 families were displaced and temporary evacuated to the municipal gymnasium.

Power supply was cut off in the area at the height of the floods last Wednesday but was immediately restored the following day.

As of Friday, Yap said they were still assessing the extent of the damage wrought by the floods but initial reports showed that a number of houses, especially those located near the Glan River, were damaged.

He said the evacuees also started to return to their homes on Thursday as the floods finally subsided due to favorable weather.

“But we’re still closely monitoring the situation in the area due to the changing weather condition,” Yap said.

On Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) confirmed another approaching low pressure area in the country that might trigger some heavy rains.

Earlier this week, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) of Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao raised anew the flood alert in the region due to the onset of heavy rains in the area.

The council warned that the rains might trigger anew some flashfloods and landslides in several parts of the region, especially near the major rivers. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)