KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 21 Feb) – Torrential rains caused heavy flooding since Wednesday in villages near the Rio Grande de Mindanao, the second longest river in the country also known as the Pulangi River, and affected close to 8,000 families, reports said.
Two of the most affected towns are Kabacan in North Cotabato and Datu Montawal in Maguindanao.
Susan Macalipat, social welfare officer of Kabacan municipality, said seven villages situated near the riverbanks were flooded and waters were waist-deep.
She said 2,229 families were affected when rampaging waters, coming from the upper portion of the Rio Grande, flooded the areas.
Data from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in Kabacan showed that the affected families come from Barangays Kayaga, Pedtad, Buluan, Nanga-an, and Cuyapon.
In nearby Datu Montawal in Maguindanao, municipal engineer Joseph Adam reported at least 5,466 households from 11 villages in their town were hit by waist-deep floods. But so far 1,000 families from some of the flooded villages have set up tents along the national highway as their temporary shelter, he said.
Adam said that of the 11 barangays, the most affected are Bulit, Pagagawan, Kayaga, Limbalod, Maridagao, Tunggol, and Talitay.
The flooding in Datu Montawal, he explained, has become a perennial problem.
“Our town is a catch basin. Whenever there is heavy rain in the mountains, for sure our town would be flooded,” Adam lamented.
He also said two dams are found in the upstream: the dam at the Pulangi-5 hydroelectric power plant in Bukidnon, and the Malitubog-Maridagao irrigation dam in Carmen, North Cotabato.
“Sometimes the flooding in low-lying areas, like in Datu Montawal, happens when these dams release water after heavy rains,” noted Adam. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)