Hundreds of Central Mindanao villages hit by floods

Climate Change/Environment • Wed Jul 19, 2017 04:11 PM  •  91   0
By John Unson
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Disaster workers clear earth soil from a roadside landslide in Upi, Maguindanao. (MDRRMO photo))
Disaster workers clear earth soil from a roadside landslide in Upi, Maguindanao. (MDRRMO photo))
COTABATO CITY -- Some 200 barangays in central Mindanao have been inundated since Saturday after large rivers crisscrossing the region overflowed because of heavy rain.

In Maguindanao province alone, floods have affected 44,879 families in more than a hundred barangays near rivers connected to the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta. Dozens of barangays in North Cotabato province have also been flooded.

The Liguasan Delta is a catch basin for more than a dozen rivers from hinterlands in North Cotabato and South Cotabato, both in Region 12, and in Bukidnon in Region 10.

“There could be more affected families because our count was based only on those that we have supplied with food, water and other relief provisions. There are barangays that we haven’t served yet,” provincial budget officer and chief of the provincial emergency response group Lynette Estandarte said.

Reports obtained on Wednesday from the office of Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu indicated that 18 of the 36 towns in Maguindanao have been flooded since last weekend.

The provincial government is now preparing more individual food packs to be distributed to flood-stricken villagers in humanitarian outreach missions that will start on Thursday.

Worst hit by floods were Maguindanao’s Sultan Kudarat and Datu Piang towns, where more than a dozen barangays are flooded.

In Upi, a hinterland town in Maguindanao, municipal emergency workers, aided by personnel of the local police, rescued school children and elderly folk from villages along rivers that overflowed due to heavy downpours.

In a statement Wednesday, the office of Upi Mayor Ramon Piang said more than 20 families in low-lying areas in the municipal center were also forced to relocate to a public gymnasium when rampaging floodwaters swept through their yards.
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