MANILA, Philippines - At least three persons drowned while two others were reported missing after several towns in Davao del Norte were flooded due to heavy rains since Saturday morning.
Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario declared a state of emergency as close to 15,000 families had to be evacuated due to rising floodwaters in the towns of Asunicomn, Kapalong, Braulio Dujali, Carmen and Sto. Tomas and the cities ofTagum and Panabo.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Executive Director Benito Ramos identified the fatalities as Boyet Borres and Clyde Selgas, both residents of El Salvador, Misamis Oriental and Glenn Custodio of Tagum, Davao del Norte.
Ramos said a certain Ramon Ampong of Davao del Norte and John Michael Unson of El Salvador, Misamis Oriental were reported missing while four others were injured due to a landslide in Misamis Occidental last Friday.
Maj. Jacob Obligado, commander of the Army’s 10th civil-military operations battalion, said a total of 10,867 persons have been rescued from the floods.
“Rescue operations by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), PNP (Philippine National Police), Central 911, Red Cross and volunteers are ongoing,” Obligado said.
Communities in the riverbanks of Davao River in Davao City were also flooded.
Classes in elementary and high schools in Davao City were suspended as floodwaters affected 12 barangays and displaced more than 10,000 families.
Mayor Sara Duterte ordered immediate assistance to flood victims while authorities work double time to restore power and water supply in affected areas.
Philippine Coast Guard-Southeastern Mindanao District Cmdr. George Ursabia said they deployed six teams, including two water search and rescue teams, to parts of Davao City to rescue flood victims.
Ursabia said the water level in some areas were over six feet-deep. – Edith Regalado, Alexis Romero, Evelyn Macairan