7,300 families displaced by floods in North Cotabato

PIKIT, North Cotabato (MindaNews/06 August) – At least 7,300 families have been displaced by floods spawned by the southwest monsoon in North Cotabato, officials and residents said.

Most residents however preferred to stay in the homes of relatives in communities not affected by floods.

Classes in some schools have been on and off because education officials would suspend classes whenever the water reached school grounds such as in Barangay Rajamuda, one of the six flooded villages here.

The Rio Grande de Mindanao that passes through Pikit’s interior villages had overflowed due to the weeklong light to moderate rainfall upstream.

It had rained for at least a week in Bukidnon, the headwater of Rio Grande and other river systems in Mindanao. The rains had triggered floods and landslides in Malaybalay and Valencia cities and other areas of the province.

“Classes were suspended many times because of floods. Every time the water rises we cannot reach our school compound,” Omael Mamasamunda, a 4th year student of Rajamuda National High School said.

Tahira Kalantongan, the town’s disaster management official, said the floods actually affected 16 low-lying villages but water had receded.

A Moro rebel detachment in Barangay Rajamuda was also flooded.

“We have been underwater for the past week,” a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front said.

Despite the floods some people could still be seen doing their daily chores. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)