Floods wreak havoc in North Cotabato

KABACAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews / 22 Jan) – Heavy rains Wednesday night flooded many parts of North Cotabato, trapping residents and students and triggering evacuations.

The municipal government of Kabacan has implemented forced evacuation for residents living near the Kabacan River as the water level rose after heavy rains in the mountains the night before.

The compound of the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) here was flooded because of overflowing water from the Kabacan River nearby. The flood submerged the Bai Matabay Plang Village and the College of Arts and Sciences as well.

Administrators have already declared no classes in the university. A nearby elementary school declared suspension of classes, too.

The provincial government of North Cotabato and the city government of Kidapawan have sent out rescue teams to bring trapped students and residents to safety.

Cynthia Ortega, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), said in a report that two houses in Barangay Basak in Magpet town were carried away by flood waters.

In the municipality of Arakan, 300 families living near rivers were likewise forced to evacuate.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 12 (DSWD-12), 62-year-old Winnie Fajedo, of Barangay Malakangot in Arakan, has been declared missing, possibly carried away by the flood.

The national highway in Barangay Kayaga, which connects the municipalities of Kabacan and Carmen, was also inundated with flood Thursday afternoon, with one house washed away.

As of press time, some 300 families have already sought refuge at the USM gymnasium.