Floods displace 39,000

By Romulo Tagalo/pio-davnor

TAGUM CITY — Like the rains that show no sign of letting up, the number of evacuees also continues to rise in the province of Davao del Norte.

As of Monday, Jan. 21, 9:15 a.m. the provincial disaster and risk reduction management report said that after four days of continuous rains, 9,425 families or 39,037 individuals have been displaced due to the tail-end of the cold front, which is now considered to be an inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

Of this exodus, the municipality of Kapalong had the highest number of affected families – 5,596 – or 18,752 individuals; followed by Carmen with 3, 201 families or 16, 005 individuals.

In the municipality of Asunción where, according to Mayor Joseph Nilo Parrenas, “all barangays were submerged,” 623 families or 3, 115 individuals have been displaced; while in Sto. Tomas, only five families or 25 individuals have been evacuated to safety. New Corella, which was never reported early in the calamity, posted 228 families evacuated comprising of 1,140 individuals.

According to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, 17,337 evacuees are now placed in 165 evacuation centers established in the affected areas.

Lifelines are also affected by the 10-15 mm/hr rains. Brgy. San Miguel in Tagum to Sto. Tomas is no longer passable, along with Brgy. Talomo in Salvacion and San Vicente in Esperanza.

The old Miranda bridge is still closed to traffic since 3 p.m. on Sunday. The highway approaching the new Miranda bridge in Guadalupe, Carmen has also become impassable to light vehicles at 12 noon, Monday, as the Libuganon River continued to swell.

Rising waters in barangays Tuganay and Ising are further affecting the flow of traffic along the national highway approaching Carmen town. The municipal local government has already suspended classes at all levels as well as office work in the local governments, since the water has started to cover the public market and the municipal building.

In terms of power lines, Kapalong had been without power for two days now; in Asuncion, a power outage is being experienced; while in Brgy. Mankilam, Tagum City, residents had had partial loss of power also.

Early in the day, two rescue teams from PDRRM have been dispatched to assist the rescuers of Carmen and B.E. Dujali. Partial report indicates 142 persons from all affected LGUs had been rescued by the RDR rescue team.

Another team is on standby at the operations center. The Office of Civil Defense 11 has turned over one unit of rubber boat with motor and inflation set, to help augment the provincial strength.

As of this writing, a certain Ramon Ampong, 63, is still missing since he attempted to cross the surging Saug river. Another person, Dodong Licomes, from Brgy. Maniki, Kapalong is reported to have been injured after being electrocuted.

Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo P. del Rosario has already declared a state of emergency for Davao del Norte given the extent of the flooding, which had exceeded in strength of typhoon Pablo. Invoking MO # 66 of Malacanang, the governor said the order is limited only to all municipalities, since most of the interiors of the component cities were not severely reached by flooding.

As the waters in Kapalong and Asuncion subsided, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office have also started to penetrate the areas bringing along food reliefs. From the DSWDO-11, 9,000 food packs have been delivered. (Romulo Tagalo/pio-davnor).


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