Rains force suspension of classes in 3 South Cotabato towns

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 June) — Classes in primary, elementary and high schools in three municipalities in South Cotabato province were suspended early Tuesday due to the continuing heavy rains.

Dads Bacalso, operation chief of the South Cotabato Provincial Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said the local governments of Sto. Nino, Banga and Surallah declared the class suspensions to ensure the safety of the students.

Citing their assessment, she said the almost nonstop rains in parts of the province since Monday afternoon has already caused flooding and rendered some areas at risk to landslides.

She said the Municipal DRRMO of Sto. Nino town reported that a portion of the Allah River, the province’s main tributary, in the area has swelled, threatening nearby communities with heavy flooding.

The situation prompted the municipal government to suspend the classes in primary, elementary and high school levels, she said.

“We’re continually monitoring the situation there but we have not received any report about flashfloods so far,” Bacalso said in a radio interview.

In Banga and Surallah towns, the MDRRMOs reported that some roads have been flooded and turned muddy due to the rains.

The class suspensions affected the primary and elementary levels in Surallah and primary, elementary and high school levels in Banga.

Aside from the three municipalities, Bacalso said they are also monitoring the situation in parts of Lake Sebu and Tupi towns.

She said the Lake Sebu MDRRMO is currently verifying the reported landslides in Barangay Halilan and floods in Barangays Upper and Lower Maculan.

“We’re currently on alert based on an order issued by the governor (Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes) and we deployed some of our field personnel in identified critical areas to coordinate the monitoring and possible interventions later on,” she said.

In Tupi town, Bacalso said they are closely watching several rivers in the area due to the possible occurrence of flashfloods.

Last week, at least 20 families in Barangays Cebuano and Linan were displaced due to flashfloods along a critical river traversing the area.

She said they already recommended to the Tupi MDRRMO the immediate relocation of the affected residents as most of them were situated along the riverbanks. (MindaNews)