Heavy rains flood Iligan City, 2 Lanao Norte towns

Torrential rains most of the day Sunday (6 March 2022) until the wee hours of the morning the following day destroyed this Bailey bridge in Sitio Merila, Barangay Ubaldo Laya in Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 07 March) – Continuous heavy rains spawned by a low pressure area on Sunday until the wee hours of Monday flooded some parts of Lanao del Norte, prompting at least 1,000 families to evacuate and causing landslides that disrupted the movement of people and goods.

In Iligan City, Mayor Celso Regencia ordered the suspension of work in government and private offices and classes in all levels on Monday to give residents time to clean their properties affected by the flood.

Regencia said that some major roads and bridges in the city were rendered impassable either due to landslides or flooding.

Alykhan Ali, district engineer of the Department of Public  Works and Highways – First Engineering District, directed the maintenance division to clear the landslide along the national highway in Sitio Timoga, Barangay Buruun, which disrupted the flow of traffic from Iligan to Lanao del Norte and vice versa. The landslide occurred at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Ali said the Tubod bridge that connects  Barangay Mahayahay and Tubod highway was temporarily closed  Monday morning because of the inspection and clearing of mud and other debris, which damaged part of the railings and abutment when the floodwater overflowed, flooding the Mahayahay highway in knee-deep waters.

He also confirmed that the steel Bailey bridges in Abuno, Tubod and Merila were damaged by the flood.

The Merila Bailey bridge in Barangay Ubaldo Laya that connects the C3 road was temporarily closed for repair.

“These bridges do not belong to the DPWH but are under LGU Iligan,” Ali said.

Engr. Kennan Eregbuagas , Iligan Light and Power, Inc. unit head for power supply and key accounts, said they dispatched a team to repair a concrete pole, which inclined and could block the national highway if it falls down.

Eregbuagas said they need to assess and strengthen the foundation of  the concrete pole structures  affected by the landslide.

He noted that these structures have yet to be tapped to the 69-kV power line.

Veronico Echavez, chair of Barangay Hinaplanon, said that at least 80 families trapped in Sitio Bayug Island at the height of the flashflood were given assistance by the local government.

Echavez said that at least 500 families or 1,708 individuals who sought shelter at the Tambo Central School had already returned to their respective residences.

In Lanao del Norte, the municipalities of Kauswagan and Linamon conducted pre-emptive evacuations late Sunday afternoon to prevent casualties .

Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado said they dispatched several dump trucks to ferry the evacuees to safety.

They were brought to various  evacuation centers and provided with food, he said.

Two houses in Barangay Lapayan were swept away by flood, said Marjune Carballo, president of the Sangguniang Kabataan federation.

Arnado placed the town under a state of calamity as 196 families (784 individuals) were affected in Barangay Tacub, 96 families (444 individuals) in Kawit Occidental, 25 families (120 individuals) in Poblacion, 46 families (240 individuals) in Bagumbayan, 110 families (435 individuals) in Libertad, 24 families (96 individuals) in Tugar, and five families (10 individuals) in Kawit Oriental. 

The bridge in Barangay Libertad remained impassable for vehicles as of 2:30 p.m. Monday. 

In Linamon town, Mayor Randy Macapil directed the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management  Office to conduct  an assessment on the condition of residents affected by flood in barangays Magoong and Samburon.

The Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative, Inc. shutdown power supply shortly past Sunday midnight and restored it at 7 a.m. Monday.

There were no reported fatalities or injuries in the affected localities. (Richel V. Umel with a report from Marivic Davis / MindaNews)