GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 25 Aug) – Six houses were totally destroyed while 14 others sustained partial damages after flashfloods swept riverside communities in four villages in Tupi town in South Cotabato on Thursday afternoon.
Emil Sumagaysay, Tupi Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head, said a major river swelled starting around 2 p.m. and triggered flashfloods following heavy rains in the area.
He said the floods affected communities in portions of Barangays Acmonan, Linan, Cebuano and Bololmala that were traversed by a tributary of the Marbel River.
No casualties were reported due to the floods, he said.
“There was a localized thunderstorm so the rains were quite heavy in our upland areas,” Sumagaysay said in a radio interview.
Citing their initial assessment, he said three houses in Sitio Datalta, Barangay Acmonan were totally destroyed and eight others sustained various damages as a result of the floods.
He said a house was also reported as totally destroyed in Barangay Bololmala and another in Barangay Linan.
In Barangay Cebuano, he said a house was totally destroyed while six others were partially damaged after being submerged in floodwaters and mud.
Sumagaysay said the displaced families in Barangays Acmonan, Linan, Cebuano and Bololmala are presently staying with their relatives.
The others affected in Barangay Cebuano were able to return to their homes after the floods subsided on Thursday night.
Aside from the damaged houses, he said there were also reported damages to crops, especially pineapple, and several farm animals were washed away and drowned by the floods.
“Our damage assessment is still ongoing and we received reports of damages to road networks, riverbank protection structures and other infrastructure,” he said.
Sumagaysay said the local government gathered the affected residents on Friday morning at the barangay hall of Acmonan and provided them with food and other relief items.
He said the local government remains on alert due to the possibility of heavy rains, especially in the afternoon, and might trigger floods and landslides.
He noted that the four flood-hit barangays were among the areas earlier identified by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as highly prone to weather-related disasters.
The other areas being monitored are upland and riverside communities in Barangays Lunen, Tubeng, Bunano and Simbo, Sumagaysay said. (MindaNews)