25 dead, 15 reported missing in Davao City floods

DAVAO CITY  (MindaNews/29 June) –  The worst ever in terms of loss of lives.

Twenty-five persons were killed, 15 of them children, while 15 others remain missing as of 5 p.m. Wednesday  as flashfloods struck at least five barangays here from late Tuesday night to early Wednesday morning.

“In terms of damage to property, this is not the worst. But this is the worst flood in terms of loss of lives,” Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte told MindaNews. Duterte served as mayor from 1988 to 2010, interrupted only by a stint as congressman from 1998 to 2001.

The floods caused the overflow of the Matina Pangi river and displaced 12,410 families, 1,475 of them in evacuation centers, the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) reported as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Duterte said many of those who were killed lived in the riverbanks and even in portions of the  Pangi riverbed or under the bridge. Majority of the residents were asleep when the rains poured.

Historically, he said, what usually swells is the Talomo River, not the Pangi River. The later, he said, had actually dried up that’s why some residents built huts in portions of the riverbed. He said the settlers had been warned several times to vacate the area but refused.

Duterte, who was a flood victim several times in the 1990s when he was still a resident of Bangkal, said the rainfall, “in a matter of three hours was the equivalent of  two months” normal rainfall.

There was no heavy downpour in other parts of the city.

The floods also swept away huts, appliances and vehicles.

A state of calamity has been declared in barangays Matina Pangi, Talomo, Matina Crossing 74-A, Matina Aplaya and Maa. Classes were also suspended in the affected barangays.

“Completely submerged yung ibang lugar. Yung iba inabot ang second floor,”  Mayor Sara Duterte told ANC Wednesday morning.

She said the waters in some parts were 10 to 20 meters high.

In early January this year, the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council listed 404 flood-prone areas in Davao City, including subdivisions, sitios and puroks, including the affected barangays.

The city has 182 barangays.

An ABS-CBN report showed some residents in Matina Crossing on rooftops and treetops to escape the rampaging waters.

Members of the 911 Urban Search and Rescue Unit used 3 rubber boats to rescue residents trapped in their homes. Elements of the Regional Public Safety Batallion, Philippine Air Force and Coast Guard also helped in the rescue operations, the report said.

Of the 25 dead, 22 have been identified. Fifteen are in the Collado Funeral Homes, seven in Angel Funeral Homes.

The victims in Collado: Baby boy Chris Alvarez; Collado Adora Baricuatro, 26; Alexis Baricuatro, 4; Alexandria Baricuatro, 7; Jaime Bawo, 41 and Conchita Bawo, 43  of Arroyo, Matina Crossing; Antonio Inciso, 77 of the Kadayawan Day Care Center; John Carlo Alvarez, 3; John Michael Alvarez, 7; Beth Amatos, 7; Kenneth Ian Ayag, 4; Carl Andre Olivares, 9 months old; Jason Saturos, 2; Cassandra Supa, 2; and Catherine Valderosa.

At the Angel Funeral Homes: Vicente Ladaga, 50; Jovito Munsad, 51; Angelita Paches, 65; Tito Servidad; Melchin Sorenio, 3; Lydia Valderosa and her daughter Rowena Valderosa.

The three unidentified are a female adult, a boy and a girl. (MindaNews)