DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/20 January) – Rescue teams are on the alert as continuous rains since Saturday triggered flashfloods in some parts of Davao City and in the towns badly battered by the December 4 Typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces.
In Cateel town, Davao Oriental, Fr. Nestor Morata, parish priest of St. James the Apostle told MindaNews they had to cancel Sunday masses because the temporary roofing of the church was blown away by strong winds and rain on Saturday night.
As of 12 noon, Morata said he was informed by the Department of Interior and Local Governments that Barangay san Miguel, San Vicente, Alegria and Taytayan are under water and that police and the military are conducting rescue operations.
Morata said the problem is there is no rubber boat available in the area.
Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon told MindaNews all Army, police and provincial engineer’s trucks have been mobilized for the rescue operations.
Davao Oriental police chief Sr. Supt. Jose Carumba said evacuations were ordered in Baganga and Cateel towns Saturday night but residents had returned home Sunday morning. But as of noon Sunday, evacuations were reported in the area cited by Morata.
Carumba said Caraga bridge which connects Manay and Caraga towns is not passable as strong river currents destroyed some 30 meters out its 250-meter span. The Teodoro Palma Gil Bridge in Barangay San Antonio, Caraga, which links the town to Baganga, was destroyed by floodwaters and debris unleashed by typhoon Pablo on December 4.
Morata said text messages went around Saturday night that Cateel was under public storm warning signal number 2 but the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) had issued no typhoon advisory.
Candelario, a resident of Cateel told MindaNews in a text message that the Lumao to Alegria-San Vicente and Cateel to Compostela route have been rendered impassable and that residents are “rattled here because of text messages that we are now under Signal No. 2.”
As of 5 a.m. Sunday, PAGASA said the “tail end of a cold front” was affecting Northern Mindanao and that the island will have “cloudy with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms.”
It also said strong to gale force wind was expected to affect the seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and the eastern seaboard of Mindanao, particularly Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Dinagat Islands and Siargao in Surigao del Norte.
In Boston, also in Davao Oriental, a team of eight psychologists from the Ateneo de Davao University’s Center for Psychological Extension and Research Services (COPERS) who arrived at 8:30 a.m. for PLAN International’s psychosocial sessions for children in the tent village of Barangay Cabasagan, were advised by the barangay captain to cancel the session because of the weather.
Dr. Gail Ilagan, COPERS Executive Director who also writes a column for MindaNews, said Reyes informed them it had been raining since Thursday but Saturday night was a downpour.
Reyes said a footbridge was destroyed and they had to evacuate one section of their tent village on Saturday night. Cabasagan is located some four kilometers from the poblacion.
ADDU security guard Jocyl Lenaming, who took a week’s leave from the university to help build shelter for his family in Boston, said he and 19 other families occupying a bunkhouse in the coastal center of Boston, fled to higher grounds at around 11 p.m. Saturday because of the strong winds and heavy rains.
Lenaming said they received text messages that Boston was under storm signal 2.
In Baganga, 2lt Rowena Abayon of the Civil Military Operations of the 67th Infantry Battalion told MindaNews, a flooding incident was reported in Sitio Magum, Barangay Saoquique, the waters reaching knee-high.Residents of the sitio had moved out of the area after Pablo.
Operations officer 1lt Elbren Talvan, said residents in landslide and flood-prone areas had been evacuated on Saturday.
Floods were also monitored in New Bataan and Monkayo in Compostela Valley.
In Davao del Norte, the provincial information office reported that as of 5 a.m., flooding incidents were reported in Maniki, Kapalong; in Purok 2 , Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod; in Barangay Tanglaw, Braulio Dujali; and in Asuncion town, waters were rising in barangays Napungas, Sagayen, Dona Andrea, Magatos, Canatan and Cambanogoy.
As of 8:17 a.m., the Provincial Disaster Rik Reduction and Management Council reported flooding in barangays Talomo, Kinamayan, Pantaron and Casi-gang in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte; while waters in Kapalong poblacion had reached waist-high.
As of 9 a.m., the Philippine Information Agency in Davao del Norte reported floodwaters in Barangay Pagsabangan, Tagum City overflowed the national highway.
In Davao City, rains triggered flashfloods in Jade Valley Subdivision in Ma-a and in Gravahan, Matina, in Deca, Tigatto, mong other areas.
As of 12 noon, rescue teams were still arriving in Jade Valley, a subdivision frequently visited by floods. (MindaNews)