14 dead as floods, landslides hit Mindanao

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 13 2014 01:17 PM | Updated as of Jan 14 2014 05:47 PM



MANILA (3rd UPDATE) – Days of rains triggered floods and landslides in the Caraga Region in Mindanao, killing at least 14 people, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Nine were killed in landslides while 5 died in floods, the NDRRMC said in its latest update Monday night.

Balido said there were a total of 34 people injured in the non-stop rains, 23 of whom were due to the landslide in Davao Oriental.

Fourteen others remain missing in Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental. Those missing in Compostela Valley were feared buried in a mining site in Mt. Diwata in Monkayo.

A total of 40,610 families, or 199,212 people were affected in 190 barangays in 46 municipalities in 10 provinces of Regions X, XI, and Caraga, the NDRRMC said.

A total of 34 roads and 17 bridges are not passable in Regions XI and Caraga, it added.

Office of Civil Defense – Region XI (Davao) director Loreto Rirao told dzMM that mountains were no longer able to hold water brought by the incessant rains.

"Three days, four days nang tuloy-tuloy ang ulan. Hindi kasing lakas pero dahil sa continuous ito ay nakakaipon ng tubig. Hindi inaasahan ng iba na ganon ang pagtaas dahil hindi ganoon kalakas. Hindi nila nakikita na doon sa bulubundukin doon ang malakas," Rirao said.

According to Rirao, the Davao Oriental towns of Tarragona, Manay, Caraga, Cateel, Baganga and Boston lost power supply and were inaccessible due to a series of landslides that rendered some roads impassable.

Governor Corazon Malanyaon told ANC that the province has enough relief goods, but they are not able to reach the affected residents due to accessibility problems.

NDRRMC Executive Director Undersecretary Eduardo del Rosario said that the towns of Caraga, Cateel, Baganga in Davao Oriental remain isolated because of the floods.

Del Rosario also said that a ship from the Philippine Navy is just waiting for weather conditions to improve in order to deliver the relief goods in those isolated areas.

"'Yung Baganga, Cateel at Caraga, ito 'yung basically isolated. Ang ginawa po ng Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City ay magpapadala ng Philipine Navy vessel. Ito po ay nagkakarga na ng relief goods yesterday, ready to sail and naghihintay na lang ng good weather conditions para maka-proceed directly sa municipality of Baganga," he told ANC.

He added that two choppers are also ready to respond and deliver relief goods in Mati, Davao Oriental.

Landslide incidents were also reported in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte; New Corella, Tagum City, and Cateel in Davao del Norte; Butuan City; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; and Dinagat Islands, according to NDRRMC.

Thousands flee

In Tagum City, Davao del Norte, barangays Pagsabangan, Cuambogan, Canocotan, Apokon, San Miguel, Mankilam, Busaon, Liboganon and Bincungan were submerged in flood waters due to days of intermittent rains.

The state-run Philippine Information Agency - Region 11 said 1,280 families or 5,760 individuals were displaced in Tagum City, Kapalong, Carmen, New Corella and Asuncion in Davao del Norte. At least 250 residents were rescued.

In Carmen town, head-deep floods trapped some residents in their homes after the Liboganon River swelled.

The overflow also inundated a bridge in Barangay Guadalupe.

In Compostela Valley, floods submerged parts of five towns and damaged two infrastructures in Monkayo: the Bailey Bridge in Barangay Upper Ulip, and the bank protection dike in Barangay Naboc, the NDRRMC said.

Office of Civil Defense – Caraga director Liza Mazo, as quoted by PIA, said that as of 7 a.m. today, a total of 2,765 families were affected by flooding and landslides, and at least 2,184 were forced to evacuate in the entire region, composed of the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands and Butuan City.

At least 2,394 families in 22 barangays in Butuan City, now under a state of calamity, fled their homes, Mayor Ferdinand Amate told ANC. A foundation of one of the city's bridge also collapsed but no one was reported injured, he added.

Alert Level 3 was also raised in Agusan River when its water rose to 3.02 meters at around 8 p.m. Sunday.

In Agusan del Sur, meanwhile, floods hit the towns of Veruela, Sta. Josefa, Trento, Rosario, Bunawan, Prosperidad, Esperanza, San Luis, and San Francisco, which was earlier placed in a state of calamity.

Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental took the brunt of typhoon "Pablo" in 2012. At least 1,000 people died in the deluge.

Low pressure area

Weather bureau PAGASA said that as of 10:30 a.m., the LPA was spotted 70 kilometers southwest of Cagayan de Oro City.

PAGASA said the LPA will bring cloudy skies with moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms over CARAGA region, Zamboanga peninsula, eastern and central Visayas, and Bicol region. It warned that the rains brought by the LPA may trigger flashfloods and landslides.

The rest of southern Luzon, rest of Visayas and the rest of Mindanao will also be cloudy with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

Class suspension

PIA said classes have been suspended in all levels in Compostela Valley and Bayabas, Surigao del Sur.

The Department of Education (DepEd), meanwhile, said classes from preschool to high school have been suspended in Butuan City in Agusan del Norte (pulic and private), and Davao del Norte.

PIA said that due to the inclement weather, Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel declared the suspension of work in the provincial government today except offices involved in search and rescue operations.