7 dead in Northern Mindanao floods

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/17 January) — A day after the worst flooding that hit Northern Mindanao since typhoon Sendong in 2011, rescuers found seven bodies stuck in the mud along rivers and creeks in the region.

Office of the Civil Defense Region 10 spokesperson Titus Velez said rescuers counted six fatalities in Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog City and Opol town in Misamis Oriental Tuesday, and another one in Bukidnon.

Personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways clear the debris of the landslide beside Pryce Plaza Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, January 17,2017. Floods hit several parts of the city on Monday due to rains brought by a low pressure area. Mindanews photo by Froilan Gallardo

Allan Porcadilla of the Cagayan de Oro Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office identified the fatalities in the city as Vergilio Turno, a 77-year-old tuba gatherer from Barangay Calaanan; 14-year-old Reny Boy Cabido of Barangay Agusan; and Franklin Villo, 59, of Barangay Balulang.

Villo drowned in Balulang Monday afternoon.

Velez identified the other fatalities as James Chan, 3, of Purok six, Barangay Agay-ayan and Nilo Quiloman, 54, of Purok 2, Barangay Santiago, all in Gingoog City; Ai-Ai Balode, 22, of Balacayo, Namnam, San Fernando town in Bukidnon; and Kian Angelo Montesino, 10, of Sitio Basak, Barangay Awang in Opol.

Radio reports said Montesino was going home after classes Monday afternoon when the footbridge he tried to cross collapsed due to the rising floodwaters.

Velez said an eleven-year-old boy identified as Johnder Martinez of Zone Neptune, Barangay Suarez in Iligan City was reported missing.

Streets in Cagayan de Oro were strewn with vehicles that were trapped as flood waters rose last Monday.

A fireman directs a vehicle on a flooded street in Barangay Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, the morning after floods hit the city. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo

Porcadilla said over 300 rescuers braved heavy rains to rescue 1,279 families or 4,833 persons and bring them to various evacuation centers.

“The rain was the heaviest we experienced since Sendong. More than 178 millimeters of rain was dropped in just six hours,” he said.

He explained that this amount of water is equivalent to 15 normal rainy days in Cagayan de Oro.

He said the problem was exacerbated by traffic jams on roads going to flood-stricken villages.

“We have enough trucks and personnel but these cannot reach the affected residents because vehicles were blocking the roads from Lapasan to Barangay Puerto,” he said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)