8 GenSan barangays hit by floods

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 October) — Around 120 families here evacuated on Wednesday night as floods triggered by hours of torrential rains submerged several low-lying communities in eight villages in the city.
Ephraim Beliran, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) action officer, said they ordered the evacuation of residents from portions of Barangay Lagao and nearby areas after three to four feet-deep floodwaters swept the area starting Wednesday afternoon.
He said the floodwaters came from waterways in Purok Nursery in Lagao and Barangay Conel that swelled due to the almost nonstop heavy rains spawned by typhoon Ofel since Wednesday morning.
Hardest hit was Purok Balite in Lagao, where hundreds of houses were swamped by the floods, Beliran said.
“We decided to evacuate the residents there (Purok Balite) as we deemed the area unsafe because of the rising floodwaters,” he said in a radio interview.
Aside from Barangay Lagao, Beliran said the floods also affected portions of Barangays Bula, Katangawan, Mabuhay, Conel, Baluan, Tinagacan and Buayan.
He said their assessment on the damage caused by the floods is still ongoing but noted that no casualties were so far reported.
Rolito Blando, Barangay Lagao chair, said a total of 110 families from Purok Balite had evacuated until midnight Wednesday.
He said 75 families are presently taking temporary shelter at the Lagao Barangay Hall while 35 others settled at the Balite Elementary School.
A still undetermined number of families from Purok 23 of Barangay Lagao have also evacuated due to the floods, he said.
In nearby Barangay Baluan, officials said four families were forced to leave their homes after rushing floodwaters swept their area on Wednesday afternoon.
Lito Tupas, Baluan council member, said a total of 13 Puroks were affected by the floods in their village.
He said among those submerged by floodwaters were the village center, Barangay Hall complex, Baluan Elementary School and a portions of the area’s palay farmlands.
“We’re still conducting an assessment with regard to the affected households and if there’s a need to evacuate them,” he said.
But Tupas said they initially advised residents within the affected areas to be vigilant and immediately flee to safer grounds when necessary. Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)