Flashflood hits Maguindanao town

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 8 Sept) – Two houses were washed away while a road was closed for hours when a flashflood hit 13 villages, including the national highway, in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao Saturday night.

Mayor Bai Zahara Upam-Ampatuan said the residents were alarmed because the flashflood was unusual and described as the worst ever to happen in the town.

“It the late afternoon we experienced heavy downpour and strong winds, then followed with a huge volume of water. It flooded the national highway and reached even my house,” Ampatuan said.

Flood water ranging from the knee to the waist level in the national highway that connects Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces prompted many motorists to wait until the water subsided in the evening.

Alex Manuel, Maguindanao provincial disaster risk reduction officer, said the water from a small creek swelled. Heavy rains were monitored in the upstream and hilly parts of the town.

No one was reported hurt or missing.

The flood came after a massive tree planting activity spearheaded by the local government to help address the climate change problem. Madrasa school children and elements from the Army’s 1st Mechanized Brigade assigned in the area joined in the tree planting.

At least 500 seedlings of Antipolo and Mahogany trees were planted hours before the flashflood.

Ampatuan and personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development visited the ravaged communities and affected individuals this morning to find out how they will respond to the catastrophe.