Davao City flash floods kill 17


Posted at Jun 29 2011 09:52 AM | Updated as of Jun 30 2011 12:47 AM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Seventeen people have died from flash floods in parts of Davao City Tuesday night, local disaster management officials said Wednesday.

Fifteen other people are missing, according to the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.   

Th flash floods have affected more than 25,000 people.

A report from ABS-CBN Regional Network Group said 7 of the fatalities were children. Majority of the victims lived near the Matina Pangi River.

Davao Mayor Sara Duterte said the flash floods struck 4 barangays after a heavy downpour caused the Matina Pangi River to overflow Tuesday night.

"This is not the first time  that the river has overflowed but it is the first time that it overflowed in all 4 areas at medyo mataas yung tubig. It's more than 10 meters in some parts and in some, up to 20 metyers

Completely submerged yung ibang lugar. Yung iba inabot ang second floor," she told ANC's "Headstart."

An ABS-CBN report said some residents in Matina Crossing climbed trees or stayed on the roofs of their houses to escape the raging flood.

The mayor has canceled classes in the affected barangays. The four affected villages are Matina Crossing, Balusong, NHA and Matina Pangi.

Members of the 911 Urban Search and Rescue Unit used 3 rubber boats to rescue residents trapped in their homes. Elements of the Regional Public Safety Battalion, Philippine Air Force and Coast Guard also helped in the rescue operations.

The local government has designated the Central Park Gym in Bangkal and GSIS gym in Matina as temporary evacuation shelters.

Duterte said she will convene the city council for a special session Wednesday morning if they will declare state of emergency for the 4 barangays hit by flash floods.

"The water is already gone. Mabilis umakyat at mabilis din bumaba. Overflowing river siya pero sobra hindi ko ma-describe. It was 3 hours of heavy rain," she said.

Science and Technology Undersecretary Graciano Yumul said an isolated thunderstorm caused the heavy downpour.

"What happened is that 8mm of rain fell for a 2-hour duration so that is classified as heavy. It was an isolated thunderstorm embedded in the intertropical convergence zone... Isolated thunderstorm, biglang bumubuhos at biglang nawawala," he said.

The local government is distributing relief goods to the flood victims, particularly those living in areas that have become isolated.

ABS-CBN's Sagip Kapamilya is also giving relief goods to affected families. - With a report from Francis Magbanua, ABS-CBN Davao