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Flash Floods in Davao City and Other Towns

Heavy downpour over the weekend brought about by the tail-end of a cold front flooded several barangays in Davao City, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) report as of January 20.

Flash floods in the city swamped five barangays, including Brgy. Tigatto, Brgy. Maa, Brgy. Bacaca, Brgy. Matina Gravahan, and Brgy. Bancerohan, affecting at least 803 persons from 170 families.

The NDRRMC recorded 496 affected persons from 95 families and 307 affected persons from 75 families in Brgy. Tigatto and Brgy. Maa respectively. The data for the rest of the affected barangays is yet to be determined.

Reports, however, claimed that 25,000 persons from 5,000 families in 12 barangays got caught in the Davao City flash floods. City Social Services and Development Office identified 5,165 families lodged in designated evacuation centers.

Davao City Disaster Risk and Management Council (DCDRMC) said that warning has been issued on January 19 around 9 p.m .as the Tamugan River started to overflow but prompt evacuation of affected residents were hindered by the following circumstances:

(1)  Poor coping threshold that most residents would wait for water to reach the critical level before they realize the need to evacuate, according to DCDRMC Chief Emmanuel Jaldon.

(2)  Failure to imbibe disaster-preparedness measures to residents despite the disaster-preparedness training for community leaders, according to DCDRMC Operations Chief Dante Donayre.

Other towns affected by flash flood

Davao City is not the lone area affected by flash floods in Mindanao. Other provinces such as  Compostela Valley, which was recently devastated by typhoon Pablo, and Davao del Norte were also submerged in water.

Four barangays in three municipalities were flooded in Compostela Valley such as Brgy. Cogonon and Brgy. Magsaysay in New Bataan with 455 affected persons from 91 families; Brgy. Magsaysay in Nabunturan with 200 affected persons from 40 families; and Brgy. Poblacion in Compostela with undetermined number of affected persons and families. Affected residents were safely evacuated to their respective barangay halls.

Meanwhile, eight barangays in two municipalities also got flooded in Davao del Norte such as barangays Maniki, Pagasa, Sampao, Sua-On, Semong, Mamacao, and Katipunan in Kapalong with 766 affected persons from 191 families; and Brgy. Talomo in Sto. Tomas with 25 affected persons from five families. Affected residents were taken to municipal and barangay gyms, purok centers, school facilities, and other establishments on higher ground.

Several roads in Davao del Norte were declared “not passable for all types of vehicles” including the ones in the municipalities of Asuncion, Kapalong, and Carmen.

Flash floods were earlier reported in North Cotabato involving the municipalities of Mlang and Kabacan. In January 15, the town of Kabacan, particularly barangays Cuyapon, Kayaga, and Salapungan, was swept by floods affecting 2,710 people from 542 families. The following day, Brgy. Antique in the town of Mlang suffered the same fate with 100 affected persons from 20 families.

Amidst all this, it can be recalled that the NDRRMC has issued a series of general flood advisories including the fifth one for Northern Mindanao on January 19, which stated that 24-hour rainfall characterized by light to occasionally moderate rains may affect watercourses in Misamis Oriental Rivers and its Tributaries particularly Odiongan, Gingoog, Balatocan, Cabulig, Lower Tagaloan, Lower/Middle Western Cagayan, Iponon, and Alubijid.

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