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Flood deaths hit 33; state of calamity in Jolo

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The number of fatalities left by widespread flooding and landslides due to week-long heavy rains in wide areas of Mindanao has increased to 33, regional disaster officials in Caraga and Davao regions reported yesterday.

In the same report, initial damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the two regions has been estimated at P138 million, while a total of 69,718 families or 324,724 people were affected by the widespread flooding and landslides.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director Liza Mazo said in the Caraga region the floods and landslides claimed 15 lives: Surigao del Sur with three recorded fatalities; Agusan del Sur with six, and the island province of Dinagat with six.

Mazo said the additional dead were the three earlier reported missing whose bodies were recovered in Agusan del Sur.

The victims were swept away by floodwaters when a rescue boat ferrying them capsized in Bunawan River.

“A total of 128 houses are damaged due to flooding and landslides, 51 of which are totally damaged from the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur, while 77 are partially damaged from Bislig City, Agusan del Norte and municipality of Dinagat, Dinagat Island province,” Mazo said.

Estimated cost of damage to infrastructure in Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte was placed at P7 million, and additional P15 million in destroyed agricultural crops in these two provinces.

“As of this reporting, a total of 32,077 families or 142,057 persons in 224 flood and landslide stricken barangays were affected, while 10,970 families or 50,786 individuals of the total number of affected residents were displaced and are now staying at 168 evacuation centers in the five provinces of Caraga and in Butuan City,” Mazo said.

Three other people died from drowning during the flooding last week in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte in Western Mindanao region.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), meanwhile, reported one person still missing in Barangay Labrado, Kulanko, Zamboanga del Norte.

In Davao region, the death toll increased to 15 yesterday as NDRRMC also reported that landslides and floods destroyed roads, bridges and hundreds of hectares of banana plantations in Davao del Norte.

OCD Davao regional director Loreto Rirao said that aside from the 15 fatalities, eight persons are still missing – four in a landslide that hit Barangay Mt. Diwata in Monkayo town, two from Compostela town and one from the Typhoon Pablo-devastated Barangay Andap in New Bataan, all in Compostela Valley province.

The 15 dead came from the Barangay Mt. Diwata in Monkayo with three; one from Barangay Babag, Monkayo town; one from Barangay Bango, Compostela town; one from Barangay Andap, New Bataan, one from Barangay Tagbaros, Maco, all in Compostela Valley province.

In Davao Oriental, five people perished in a landslide that occurred in Barangay Bangol, and one from Barangay Tubaon, all in Tarragona town, while two drowned in the flood that inundated Barangay Marayag, Lupon town. The village was totally wiped out in a landslide.

All that is left in the poblacion are mud and huge boulders that rolled into the village at the height of the flooding.

Rirao reported that a total of 145 villages in Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley province, including Davao City, were affected by the disastrous flooding and landslides.

He added that 37,641 families or 184,667 individuals from these villages have been affected and most of them are still staying in 104 evacuation centers.

‘Unusual’

The widespread floods and landslides caused several towns and provinces in Mindanao to declare a state of calamity, some of them as far south as Jolo in Sulu province.

Officials said a storm surge caused by the prevailing low-pressure area in Mindanao struck five villages and damaged close to 300 houses and infrastructure.

Jolo Mayor Hussin Amin said some 15,000 residents were displaced.

He said several big waves battered the coastal villages of Jolo since Saturday and brought serious damage after four days.

According to Amin, even his own house was not spared.

Amin said the five villages hit by the storm surges include Chinese Pier, Takut-Takut, Tulay, Walled City, and Bus-Bus. The town’s municipal engineer estimated the damage at P17 million. – With Roel Pareño, Edith Regalado, Helen Flores, Ben Serrano

 

 

AGUSAN BARANGAY BARANGAY ANDAP COMPOSTELA VALLEY DAVAO DEL MAZO MINDANAO MONKAYO NORTE
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