Davao Occidental town under state of calamity

Edith Regalado - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The town of Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental, which was submerged in floodwaters amid heavy rain on Thursday, was placed under a state of calamity.

Sta. Maria was worst hit by flashfloods, which also affected Malita and Jose Abad Santos towns.

Local officials said it was the first time that residents experienced widespread flooding.

Sta. Maria Mayor Claude Benjamin Bautista II suspended classes in all levels and work in government offices due to flooding.

Meanwhile, search and rescue operations for residents affected by landslides in Padada, Sulop and Malalag in Davao del Sur continued yesterday.

Heavy rain brought by the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) triggered flashfloods and landslides in Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental.

A low-pressure area and the ITCZ are expected to bring more rain over parts of the Visayas and Mindanao this weekend, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The low-pressure area was monitored at 310 kilometers east of General Santos City as of 3 p.m. yesterday.

It is forecast to bring scattered rains  over the Visayas, Mindanao, Mimaropa, Bicol, Quezon province and the southern part of Aurora.

PAGASA said the combined effects of the ITCZ and low-pressure area would  bring moderate to heavy rains over Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Soccsksargen, Caraga and Davao.

BBM: Assist flood victims

President Marcos ordered concerned government agencies to provide assistance to flood victims.

“I have also instructed @dswdserves to make sure all evacuees gets immediate help. They assured us that teams on the ground are continuously repacking relief goods,” the President said in a post on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Bureau of Fire Protection have been conducting search and rescue operations since Thursday in coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. – Romina Cabrera, Helen Flores

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