DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Sept)—Continuous rains due to Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) swamped at least nine villages in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato Tuesday evening.
Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office chief Romeo Capao-an said in a telephone interview that the heavy rains since Monday had prompted them to impose preemptive evacuation in riverside communities.
Data from the local government of Pigcawayan showed that as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the flooding affected 2,065 individuals from the villages of Anick, Balogo, Buluan, Bulucaon, Capayuran, North Manuangan, New Igbaras, Poblacion 1, and Poblacion 2.
At least 114 families have sought shelter in safer grounds due to flooding.
Worst-hit was the remote village of Anick where at least 475 people have been affected as waters breached the bank of the river.
Capao-an said floodwaters got higher on Tuesday night due to continuous heavy rains earlier that day.
The low-lying villages of Balogo, Buluan, Bulucaon, Capayuran, North Manuangan, Poblacion 1 and Poblacion 2 have been submerged on Tuesday night as a nearby river breached its banks, he added.
Pigcawayan sits on the foot of mountain ranges that straddle the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and North Cotabato.
Gilbert Placambo, teacher of Presbitero National High School, said that some of their students had to use ropes to cross a raging river in the mountainous village of Kimarayag on Tuesday afternoon.
Placambo, who lives in neighboring village of Baguer in Libungan town, bared that their village was also hit by a flashflood on Tuesday.
Municipal Social Welfare and Development officer Danica Luciano said the local government has already distributed hygiene and sleeping kits to the displaced families on Tuesday night.
But Luciano added that the displaced villagers have already returned to their homes on Wednesday morning.
Moreover, the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will distribute additional food aid to the affected families anytime on Wednesday, she said.
Luciano recalled that the flooding of Barangay Bulucaon started Monday afternoon when the water level in nearby Liguasan Marsh rose.
She lamented that the flooding is getting worse in her town.
In October last year, 28 of 40 villages in Pigcawayan were submerged in floodwaters due to heavy rains.
According to Mayor Juanito Agustin, it was the worst flood in the town’s history. (MindaNews)