GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 May) – At least 13 barangays here submerged on Tuesday night after continuous rains caused creeks and canals to overflow, virtually turning roads into rivers and streams.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) on Wednesday said drainage canals and creeks that clogged up caused the knee-deep floodwaters on city streets which streamed into homes, farms and shops, disrupting businesses.
Several streets were rendered impassable by vehicles.
Dr. Agripino Dacera, action officer of the CDRRMO, said the rain which lasted almost the whole night on Tuesday was made worse by the high tide at the time, triggering canals and creeks to overflow and inundate 13 of the 26 barangays in the city.
Many commuters who were on their way home were stranded after several public vehicles stopped plying their routes.
Office worker Genesis Fernandez said they arrived home late last night due to the difficulty in traversing the flooded roads.
The rains which poured almost the whole night also triggered power outages in some parts of the city after several trees fell on electric poles, the local power utility South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative announced Wednesday.
The most affected areas include barangays Apopong, San Isidro, Mabuhay, Fatima and Sinawal, Baluan, Tambler, Fatima, Labangal, Mabuhay, City Heights, Calumpang and Bula.
Around 63 families evacuated from their homes in Apopong, 60 in Labangal, and 23 in Lagao.
Two houses were destroyed in barangay City Heights, Dacera said.
Resident Nikoy Tiongson Llido likened General Santos to a large basin, being surrounded by mountains.
“When it rains in the mountains, certainly there will be floods and that we are already being flooded,” he said on his social media post.
An experienced civil engineer, Llido said a simple solution is to build wide and deep canals and storm drainages, put up a large catch basin and pumping station.
He proposed that an agency in the local government should draw up long-term plans to address the perennial flooding in the city.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration had earlier warned that an Inter Tropical Convergence Zone would affect this city and nearby towns of Polomolok, T’Boli, Lake Sebu, Tupi in South Cotabato and Maitum, Kiamba, Glan, Malapatan, Alabel, Malungon in Sarangani Province. (Rommel G. Rebollido/MindaNews)