50 families evacuated in Valencia as creek overflows

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/31 May) – About 50 families in barangays Bagonta-as and Sugod, both in Valencia City, were evacuated as the Malingon Creek, a tributary to the Pulangi River, overflowed Wednesday afternoon, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported.

Capt. Alejandro Larosa, Valencia City DRRMC chief, said as of 7 p.m. Wednesday 20 families from Bagonta-as and 30 families from Sugod were brought to evacuation centers in the city.

Larosa said the creek, not the Pulangi River, was the one that overflowed after heavy rains.

As of 5p.m. Wednesday the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa) reported a low pressure area “embedded along the inter-tropical convergent zone (ITCZ) has affected southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.”

 

The creek started to swell close to 3 p.m., an hour after heavy rains poured. Water was at waist-level in those two villages, rescuers said.

 

The CDRRMC reported no casualties as of 5:45 p.m. but four houses were destroyed. The council reported that casualties were avoided as they ordered forced evacuations starting 3 p.m.

 

In Malaybalay City, Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri raised “red alert” in at least 14 of the city’s 46 barangays along the banks of Sawaga River after he called an emergency meeting of the CDRRMC.

 

The CDRRMC alerted residents for possible evacuation Wednesday afternoon.

 

Zubiri told MindaNews water level increased in the river early afternoon but has gone down a few hours later in Brgy. 4 in downtown Malaybalay. He said he ordered the CDRRMC to be on the watch.

 

As of 5p.m, he said there has been no report of casualties or damage. He vowed that the city government and the barangays will be ready to respond just in case.

 

According to an update from Patrol 117 as of 7 p.m., Malaybalay’s barangay Simaya and Violeta, both along the course of Sawaga River, have experienced “high water level.”

 

The CDRRMC in the two cities “are closely monitoring” the situations in both Malingon Creek and Sawaga River, both tributaries to Pulangi River, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)

 

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