94 families displaced by flood in Sarangani town

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 January) — At least 94 families in two riverside communities in nearby Alabel town in Sarangani Province were temporarily displaced after a major river swelled on Thursday night following hours of heavy rains.

Ariston Lim, operations head of the Alabel Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said Friday floodwaters from the critical Buayan River swept portions of Barangays Maribulan and Baluntay, submerging households in the area.

He said the floods affected 72 families in Purok 8 of Barangay Baluntay and 22 more in Sitio Bayan of Barangay Maribulan.

Lim said the water level at the Buayan River, which also traverses parts of this city and drains to the Sarangani Bay, started to rise at around 4:30 p.m.

The area experienced sporadic heavy rains since Thursday morning due to the tailend of a cold front affecting parts of Visayas and Mindanao.

He said they immediately alerted residents situated at the banks of the Buayan River for possible evacuation.

“The affected residents voluntarily evacuated to safer grounds but returned several hours later when the floods started to subside,” Lim told MindaNews on the phone.

Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Salarda immediately checked the affected areas and delivered food and other relief packs to the flood-hit residents.

The mayor said the local government will work on the relocation of residents from the two communities, which had been declared as danger zones being considered as high-risk to heavy flooding.

He said they will consider the affected families for inclusion in the relocation or resettlement site being developed by the local government in Barangay Spring.

The project is supported by the National Housing Authority and other nongovernment groups, he said.

“That’s for 100 households so hopefully we can move some of them there soon,” he said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.

Aside from the two communities in Alabel, flooding was also reported in parts of Barangay Buayan here due to the swelling of the river.

But there were no reports of major damages and evacuations in the affected areas. (MindaNews)