3 fishers reported missing in Initao town; ‘Vinta’ triggers flash flood in CDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 22 December) —  Three fishermen went missing at the height of tropical storm “Vinta” that cut a wide swath of destruction across Mindanao on Friday.

Faustino Dy, chief of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said family members in Initao town reported that the fishermen did not come home after they ventured out to sea Thursday night.

Dy identified the fishermen as Rudy Jaralta; his son, Rudy Karalta Jr., and Joseph Lauron, all residents of Initao.

He said the total affected residents in Misamis Oriental reached 1,757 families or 5,153 persons on Friday.

Ysalina Bridge in Cagayan de Oro City was closed to traffic Friday, 22 December 2017 as floodwaters triggered by tropical storm Tembin reached critical level. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Tropical storm “Vinta” dumped enough rainwater to trigger a flash flood in Cagayan de Oro.

City information officer Maricel Casino-Rivera said they sent rescuers to pluck residents from the roofs where they sought shelter when the flood level of Cagayan de Oro reached “ Sendong proportions.”

Tropical storm “Sendong” inundated the villages beside Cagayan de Oro and Iligan killing hundreds of residents on December 17, 2011.

Rivera said no casualty was reported this time.

She said a total of 3,884 families or 14,667 persons from 22 barangays were rescued on the day “Vinta” hit Mindanao.

Rivera said rescuers on life rafts had to  brave strong river currents to save residents who climbed their roofs in Barangay Macasandig and Carmen.

“Be careful of that tin roof on your left,” rescue team leader Kim Domingo told the police cadets as he guided their fragile life raft among the flood-swollen streets in Barangay Macasandig.

Police officers rescue residents away from the flooded areas in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017. Tropical storm ‘Vinta’ triggered flash floods of “Sendong proportions,” referring to the floods triggered by storm Sendong in December 2011. Unlike 2011, however, MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Domingo, a volunteer, and the police cadets have been going back and forth rescuing people since Friday morning.

He said their task is difficult because of the strong water current and the refusal of some people to leave their homes despite the dangers.

“Hard paddle on the left,” Domingo shouted as the raft crossed a strong current of water.

They pulled five residents to safety and again went back to search for more. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)