DATU SALIBO, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 08 August) — Close to 12,000 individuals were affected by floods in nine Maguindanao towns as a result of torrential rains brought about by Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone the past week, but no displacements were reported, disaster response officials said Sunday.
The Office of Civil Defense and the Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said nine towns of Maguindanao were severely affected but only two towns – Datu Salibo and Mamasapano — remain flooded as of Sunday.
“Residents stayed in their homes during the floods which eventually subsided, so there was no displacement,” Myrna Jo Henry, spokesperson for ARMM-HEART, said. Only the towns of Datu Salibo and Mamasapano, both in Maguindanao remained flooded after the Kabulnan river overflowed Thursday, she said.
In the Datu Salibo-Datu Piang road, floodwaters submerged the national highway.
Water level in interior villages of Datu Salibo reached as high as neck and chest level, said Badria Guiamel, who brought her family to the roadside of Datu Salibo-Datu Piang highway.
“My house was submerged by floods. We stayed atop our bed and cabinets and then we moved here,” Guiamel said as she prepared food using a makeshift stove by the roadside. Her children were swimming nearby.
Sukarno Zaylon, a resident, was fixing a wooden bridge in waist deep waters toward his home.
Even Army detachments were not spared in Datu Salibo as the military compound was virtually turned into a small river.
Across the street were motorists washing vehicles while children swam nearby.
For the young, the long and winding road had become their huge swimming pool unmindful of the possible diseases borne by the floodwaters.
“Sanay na yan sila (they are used to it),” said Zailon of the children enjoying the floodwaters with “baon” (food) like in a picnic. The ARMM-HEART said no fatality was reported as a result of the flood. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)