By MART D. SAMBALUD
TAGUM CITY — Even without a typhoon, floods worsened in Davao region and Caraga region (Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley) since this weekend following days of continuous rains attributed to a low pressure area.
The Davao del Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said the number of evacuees increased by 49% since 4 pm Saturday. Rains since Monday has caused rivers in these Mindanao regions to swell.
Floods hit towns in Davao Oriental, adding to numbers displaced in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley due to heavy rains the past week.
Reports from Davao Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (PDRRMC) said 300 houses were destroyed after a flashflood hit villages of Marayag, Lupon, Davao Oriental. It also killed five persons.
Davao Today received a text message from a resident in Cateel, Davao Oriental saying swelling rivers engulfed houses in some villages, and destroyed three bridges. Davao Today is still confirming reports that people including children have died in Cateel.
The Compostela Valley PDRRMC said more than 700 families have evacuated, while three died and three are missing due to swelling of Manat River which traverses Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo and New Bataan municipalities.
In Davao del Norte, latest reports from the provincial PDRRMC said 1,117 families or 3,870 people have been displaced.
Tagum City and towns of New Corella, Kapalong and Carmen also continue to experience severe floods.
Provincial rescue units said they have assisted local units in rescuing residents, particularly 188 families or 935 persons in Lumboy, Brgy. Mankilam, Tagum City and 33 families and 165 people from six barangays in Guadalupe, Carmen.
The provincial government is reportedly providing food relief to residents now staying in municipal gyms.
The bad weather and floods prompted provincial governor Rodolfo del Rosario to suspend classes from nursery to high school levels this Monday, and said the lifting of suspension will be for the discretion of municipal mayors.
The local government in New Corella, one of the municipalities hit by the floods, has declared the town under a state of calamity. In Tagum City, Tuganay and Pagsabangan are not passable for light vehicles.
In Kapalong, floods have reached neck-deep levels Sunday but have now receded. But residents still crowd the municipal gym and KCAST Building.
The heavy rains also caused overflow of rivers in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
The Office of the Civil Defense Caraga Region said around 500 families in Agusan del Norte evacuated as rivers overflowed to roads. Five persons were reported missing in Carmen, Agusan del Norte.
In Surigao del Sur, 800 residents evacuated from floods in Bislig City and San Miguel. Landslides and floods have reportedly closed portions of the highway in Barobo and Tagbina municipalities.