Massive flooding hits Caraga region

It’s been three days now when the world welcomed year 2011 and while other regions in the country are still celebrating the coming of the “year of the rabbit,” some areas in the Visayas and Mindanao regions are experiencing massive floodings and even landslides, and Caraga Region is not exempted to these calamities.

As of press time, in Caraga Region, all the four provinces are already experiencing massive floodings while some portions of the said areas are also experiencing minor landslides.

These disasters were confirmed today by officials of the respective Provincial Disaster Coordinating Councils (PDCCs) in a phone-patch interview with a local radio station here.

According to Ms. Rosario Roxas, officer of PDCC-Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte there are already areas in the province that were affected with minor landslides. Some roads are also impassable because of flashfloods.

However, Ms. Roxas said, the local government unit has been constantly coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways to clear roads and areas affected by minor landslides.

In Surigao del Norte, as heavy rains continue to pour, a total of 47 families or 203 individuals in the Barangays of Rizal, San Juan and Washington were evacuated since yesterday.

Information gathered from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) as well as the Quick Action Response Team (QART) revealed that 12 families or 59 individuals were coming from Brgy. San Juan specifically in the area of Navalca and 19 families or 84 persons were from Brgy. Washington. They are currently sheltered at Kaskag gym.

Also, around 16 families or 60 individuals mostly from Sitio Lamintaw of Brgy. Rizal were evacuated at the barangay’s multi-purpose gym. As of press time, only one person was reportedly missing identified as Roberto Dalangin, 35 years old from Sitio Togonan, Brgy. Mabini. Dalangin was reportedly missing since yesterday morning at Togonan river.

Meanwhile, Agusan del Sur provincial capitol building can no longer be accessed by light vehicles due to high rise of flood water surrounding its vicinity.

As per information from PIA-Agusan del Sur Information Center, only dump trucks can go to the capitol buildings to gather rescue equipment and supplies. Portion of the front concrete fence along the national highway collapsed.

With these developments, no official transactions are going on at all LGU offices as all are concerned with the search and rescue operations, including the local government officials.

According to PSWD chief Josefina Bajade, this is the worst scenario for the past 10 years. As of reporting time, no official report on damages yet reached PDCC office because all municipalities are on search and rescue operations as the rain continues to fall heavily. Many portions of the national highways are now impassable and only roofs of schools in Bunawan town are visible being submerged underwater.

In Surigao del Sur, Provincial Disaster and Coordinating Council (PDCC) Officer of Surigao del Sur Mr. Florencio Pimentel, Jr. today confirmed that the municipalities of San Miguel and Tago are already engulfed with water.

Pimentel also said flashflood occurred in San Miguel town. He also reported that there are already barangays whose roads are not passable anymore as of press time.

In related development, the 175 feet tall tower of dxJS Radyo ng Bayan Tandag was reportedly tumbled at around 3 am of January 2.

In Butuan City, Mr. Tata Flores of the City disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) today said Agusan River water level is still manageable. However, all authorities and concerned agencies and individuals are on red alert status since it is expected that flood waters from Davao City will flow to Agusan River that may cause massive flooding in the city.

It can be recalled that whenever Agusan River started to overflow, the city is already in danger of flood.

However, he said speed boat and ambulance are on standby at the river base for possible search and rescue operations while the city streets are now engulfed with water causing vehicle engines to shut off. (PIA-Caraga with reports from PIA Provincial Information Centers)

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