Death toll in Bukidnon floods: 20; missing: 102

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/18 December) — Twenty persons were confirmed dead and 102 others remain missing in Baungon and Libona towns in Bukidnon, upstream of  Cagayan de Oro River.

Lezette Treseno, secretary of Baungon Mayor Pedro Alvarez told MindaNews  that as of 5p.m. Sunday, 15 residents had been confirmed dead. She said they were swept away by flashfloods and their bodies  recovered in several Baungon villages and in Cagayan de Oro City,

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In Libona town, five persons were confirmed dead, Bukidnon Governor Alex Calingasan said. Calingasan’s son is mayor of the town.

Speaking for Baungon Mayor Alvarez, Treseno said most of the 102 missing were from the villages of Lingating, Nicdao, Langawon, Pualas, and Liboran. The town has remained isolated, she said.

She said all approaches leading to the town have been cut because the bridges were either partially or totally destroyed by the rampaging floodwaters.

Treseno said three-fourths of Cabula bridge that connects Baungon with Cagayan de Oro was washed out.

Another bridge, which passes over Tumalaong Rivers was totally damaged.

Treseno said seven villages in Baungon have also been isolated including Lingating, the worst hit in terms of victims.

She said the 33 missing persons recorded by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) refer to those missing from Brgy. Lingating alone

In his initial report, Arsenio Alagenio, PDRRMC executive officer, said heavy rainfall and landslide in the villages resulted to flooding of Liboran and Maluhog creeks, which are contributory to Tumalaong, Bubunawon, and Cagayan rivers.

Alagenio told MindaNews Sunday afternoon that the missing were from Baungon town, which has remained isolated due to the destruction of three bridges connecting the town to Cagayan de Oro and other towns in Bukidnon.

The PDRRMC report said that as of  December 18,  a total of 48 families were directly affected by the flashfloods.

Alagenio reported that the municipal government distributed food, including 30 sacks of rice, via helicopter to villagers in isolated areas in Baungon.

Governor Alex Calingasan reported that flood waters washed away a total of 61 houses and left about 29 other houses “partially damaged” in Libona town, where his son, Leonardo Genesis, is mayor.

Alagenio reported that an initial P56 million was estimated for the damage to roads and structures.

Also in Valencia City, the CDRRMC reported about 600 families affected by the overflow of Pulangui River. But Capt. Alejandro Larosa, CDRRMC executive officer, clarified that they were only slightly affected and were able to return to their homes by Saturday as water level subsided late in the morning.

The council reported three houses were washed out in the river’s bank near the city’s poblacion area. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)