UPDATE: 2 dead, 10,000 displaced in North Cotabato floods

KABACAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews/23 January)—Two persons were killed in the flashfloods that hit parts of North Cotabato since Wednesday night, an official said on Friday.

Cynthia Ortega, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the flooding also affected at least 10,000 individuals who sought refuge in various evacuation centers.

She identified the affected towns as Kabacan, Arakan, Pikit, Matalam, Magpet and President Roxas.

The provincial government ordered the forced evacuation of families living along the riverbanks due to the rising water level, Ortega said.

The fatalities were identified as Brando Amores, 14, a resident of Barangay Bangilan in Kabacan and Wennie Pajenado, 61, of Barangay Makalangot in Arakan.

Two houses owned by Arlene and Arnold Gamboa were swept by the flood in Magpet town.

In Kabacan, the flooding affected Barangays Poblacion, Dagupan, Katidtuan, Aringay, Bangilan, Kayaga, Salapungan, Pedtad, Buluan and other low-lying villages after the Kabacan River overflowed.

Portions of the main campus of the University of Southern Mindanao here were also submerged in floodwaters that disrupted classes.

Elements from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, the provincial government and the Kidapawan City government jointly conducted rescue operations.

As of posting time Friday morning, flooding in the province has receded, Ortega said.