2 Davao del Norte towns suspend classes due to severe flooding

TAGUM CITY (MindaNews / 28 January) — Classes from pre-school to college level were suspended on Monday in the towns of Kapalong and New Corella, Davao del Norte after heavy downpour brought about by the tailend of cold front triggered flooding in the Davao Region.

In Kapalong town, Mayor Maria Theresa Timbol issued Executive Order 4 ordering the suspension of classes in all public and private pre-school, elementary, and high schools, and college levels as the whole town was still submerged in flood waters as of Sunday evening.

Timbol said she issued the order after consulting with officials of Kapalong ’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

“There is a need to streamline the procedure in the suspension of classes in times of typhoons, floods, and other disaster calamities to spare the pupils and students from unnecessary dangers to their lives considering that major thoroughfares are still flooded,” Timbol said in her executive order.

View of the massive flood that hit the municipality of Kapalong in Davao del Norte on Sunday, January 27. 2019, taken from a drone camera. Heavy downpour brought about by the tailend of a cold front triggered severe flooding in Davao region. Photo courtesy of Kapalong DRRMC

Jamal Magantor, head of Kapalong Municipal Information Office, said the suspension of classes would pave way for the restoration of schools, offices, communities and infrastructures damaged by the flooding.

“While we start the restoration tomorrow, please advise that teachers are required to report in their respective schools to check the vicinity,” Magantor said, adding that the local government of Kapalong is now doing its best to lessen the  impact of the floods.

More than 414 families or 1,660 individuals from Barangay Maniki, Gabuyan, Katipunan, Semong and Pag-asa were displaced due to severe flooding since Saturday. The families who were pre-emptively evacuated sought shelter in the covered court of the Kapalong College of Agriculture and Science and Techonology (KCAST).

In New Corella town, flooding and landslides prompted Mayor Rhodora Alcoran to declare suspension of classes on Monday.

Alcoran said heavy rains triggered eight landslides in various areas as floodwaters hit low-lying villages and consequently displaced 2,567 families now staying in several public schools.

“The weather disturbance that affects in Davao region may still bring continuous heavy downpour in the next 24 hours which may result to increased water level in various creeks and canals and may result to severe flooding; roads may not be passable,” Alcoran said in a statement on Sunday evening.

The suspension of classes was recommended by the New Corella Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, according to Alcoran.

Data provided by the Davao del Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) showed 23,636 families from flood-prone areas were pre-emptively evacuated as heavy downpour brought about by the tailend of a cold front triggered flooding in the Davao Region.

An elderly man is rescued by local disaster unit responders in Kapalong town after Sitio Kumintang in Barangay Maniki was flooded on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Photo courtesy of Kapalong DRRMC

Glenda Delideli, head of the Davao del Norte PDRMMC, identified the towns of Asuncion, Talaingod, Carmen, New Corella, Braulio E. Dujali, and Kapalong as heavily hit by the flooding.

In Compostela Valley province, 907 families were displaced from six towns due to flooding.

The PRRRMC recorded 458 families affected in Monkayo, 174 in Laak, 178 in Compostela, 49 in Montevista, 42 in Bataan and six in Maco. The displaced sought shelter in nearby gymnasiums and public schools. (Mart Sambalud / MindaNews)