Rampaging waters due to heavy rain damage bridge in Sultan Kudarat town

Rampaging waters damage the bridge in Barangay Manili, Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat on Sunday night, 29 May 2022. MindaNews photo courtesy of Leo Lego

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 30 May) – Rampaging waters spawned by a heavy downpour Sunday night damaged a major bridge in Lutayan town, Sultan Kudarat, which links the province to Koronadal City in South Cotabato.

The movement of people, goods and services between the two areas were suspended as some of the foundations of the concrete bridge gave way due to the raging waters, which were compounded by flashfloods in Koronadal City.

Commuters were surprised to see Monday morning the damaged bridge located in Barangay Manili.

A low pressure area spawned heavy rainfall on Sunday that triggered flashfloods and minor landslides in some areas in Soccsksargen region.

“We monitored the situation of the bridge as early as 1 a.m. Monday,” Leo Lego, a resident of Lutayan, said.

“Commuters have no choice now, we have to take other routes in going to Koronadal City. Residents of Lutayan working in Koronadal need to take a longer route,” he added.

Lutayan town is adjacent to Koronadal City.

Lego feared the situation might get worse once the mining project of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. in Tampakan, South Cotabato starts.

The Tampakan project is touted as the largest untapped copper-gold minefield in Southeast Asia. SMI said the most viable method to extract the minerals is through open-pit mining.

River waters that go to Buluan Lake, which straddles the towns of Lutayan and Buluan in Maguindanao, emanate from the upland areas of South Cotabato, he said, adding “what will happen to us and our sources of income if mining wastes will flow down here?”

Lego said Koronadal City serves like a bowl that catches all the waters from the hinterlands of South Cotabato via various rivers.

“Koronadal City will be the most affected once open-pit mining is allowed in Tampakan,” he said.

Barangay Topland in Koronadal City, the city’s border village with Tampakan, experienced rampaging flashfloods Sunday night that damaged houses built along riverbanks.

Recently, majority of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of South Cotabato amended the environment code that lifted the ban on open-pit mining in the province, a development that stirred massive condemnation from residents in and outside the province.

The measure has been submitted to South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. for his action.

Church and various groups have urged Tamayo to veto the measure. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)