Floods submerge parts of South Cotabato

South Cotabato. Map courtesy of Google

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 30 May) – At least 33 families were temporarily displaced in parts of South Cotabato province while several public structures were damaged due to severe flooding triggered by heavy rains Sunday night.

Rolly Doane Aquino, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said heavy floodings were reported in riverside and lowland communities in Koronadal City and the municipalities of Norala, Sto. Nino, Tampakan and Tantangan.

He said 27 families from Barangay Lapuz in Norala, four in Purok Liberty, Barangay Topland in Koronadal City were forced to evacuate Sunday night due to the floods.

A household in Barangay Katipunan, Sto. Nino town and another in Tantangan town were affected by heavy flooding based on separate reports from the PDRRMO and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Aquino said a dike protection along the Marbel River in Purok Ferry, Barangay Gen. Paulino Santos in Koronadal City has collapsed while a portion of road and a bridge in Sitio Tucalabong, Barangay Crossing Rubber in Tupi town was damaged by rampaging floodwaters, he said.

“The affected road (in Tupi) is still not passable as of this time and we’re working with concerned offices to address this concern,” he said in a briefing Monday afternoon.

The official said the Provincial Engineering Office has deployed heavy equipment to rechannel critical waterways in the affected areas, among them along the Banga and Allah rivers in the province’s upper valley area and in Barangay New Iloilo in Tantangan.

Siegfred Flaviano, Provincial Environment Management Office chief, said they are currently monitoring the water level at the Allah River and other critical waterways due to the continuing cloudy weather in the area.

He said they deployed their quarry inspectors to check for possible damages in heavily silted areas and those with critical infrastructure.

“We’re still waiting for the reports from the field, especially for areas along the Allah River,” he said.

Allah River, which is considered the biggest river channel in the province, traverses at least nine municipalities and a city within the provinces of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

It drains towards the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao and eventually to the Rio Grande de Mindanao and the Moro Gulf.

Flaviano said they instructed quarry firms to temporarily stop their operations due to the elevated water levels along the Allah River.

“We tapped their heavy equipment to help desilt our waterways and divert water to protect nearby structures, communities and farm lands,” he added.(Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)