No rains but Agusan Sur folks fear water back flow
By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN
SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—The sun was up in the province all morning long yesterday but local officials in Bunawan town are bracing for flashfloods that may occur in a few days ahead from the back flow of water in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte expected to be battered again by tropical cyclone.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has reported yesterday that another Low Pressure Area was seen to cross southeast of General Santos City that heavy rain showers are expected to affect Caraga region, Davao, Soccsksargen, Northern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas.
Bunawan Mayor Edwin “Cox” Elorde said even there was sunny weather, water levels that already rose to as high as 16 feet from the ground continue to flood residents living near the river banks of Sumilao river and Agusan river.
Bunawan was among the four towns in Agusan del Sur which have been also heavily affected by typhoon Pablo last month.
He however noted even as water has started to subside in five other flood-prone villages along Sumilao river , the flood waters engulfed the entire 19,000-hectare Agusan Marsh. “It seems like you can no longer see land in the wide marshland.”
“We expect floodwaters to go up again when the low pressure area that could develop into a storm will hit the neighboring provinces,” Elorde said.
Already, Elorde said evacuation centers in the higher grounds and at the town center were set up and relief goods were readied. He called on residents to be prepared and ensure the safety of their children to avoid human casualties.
Over the years, residents in Bunawan and six other neighboring river towns have been experiencing heavy flooding brought about by the run off of rain water from the Diwata mountain ranges that traverse Surigao del Sur in the east, Bukidnon in the west, Compostela Valley in the south.
Studies also showed that Agusan Marsh is the catch basin of the Agusan-Davao plain since it is the lowest point of Agusan River Basin and serves as confluence of different tributaries of Agusan River.