DAPITAN CITY, Philippines – Heavy overnight rain caused flooding in the cities of Dipolog and Dapitan, as well as the town of Polanco in Zamboanga del Norte Dipolog City, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reported Thursday, February 9.
Based on partial reports, nearly 311 families or 780 persons were affected by the flooding, damaging about 120 houses.
According to the local chapter of the PRC, rain started pouring at around 10 pm on Wednesday, February 8, and lasted until 10 am the next day, causing rivers to swell.
Heavy rains spawned flash floods in a number of villages in Dapitan City on Thursday morning, February 9.
Rosalie Bagon, a Barangay Network System (BNS) volunteer, said that the flash flood began submerging her home in Barangay Pulo around 7 am, Thursday. She was unsure whether to move to an evacuation center as of late Thursday afternoon, since flood waters supposedly had begun receding.
“I’m still awaiting the advice of our local authorities whether to temporarily relocate, since I don’t want to leave our home for security reasons,” Bagon told Rappler in Filipino, while keeping watch over her family’s belongings that were carried out of their flooded home.
According to a rescue team from the Department of Health (DOH), at least 7 villages in Dapitan City were either totally or partially affected by Thursday’s flash flood.
Evelyn Villarin of the DOH’s Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS), said that among those badly affected by the flooding were the villages of Sulangon, Oyan, Burgos, Ilaya and Upao. Only parts of the villages of Pulo and Barcelona were inundated.
The HEMS rescue team saved at least 7 families from Barangay Sulangon. Along with the villages of Ilaya and Burgos, these areas reportedly had floodwaters reaching “lagpas tao” levels. Waters are expected to recede by Thursday evening and there were no reports of casualties.
Sulangon and Burgos roads in Dapitan City were also reported to be impassable, according to the PRC.
Local residents confirmed that continuous rains beginning 10 pm of Wednesday, February 8, caused the Dapitan River to swell, spilling over to adjacent communities. Officials are also verifying that a “buhawi” hit Barangay Upao on Thursday.
Residents who fled their homes are temporarily staying in San Pedro Elementary School, Sulayon Elementary School, Dapitan Cultural Center and a Department of Social Welfare and Development shelter in Barangay Antipolo.
PRC deployed 2 emergency response teams, while an ambulance and a rubber boat were sent to the affected areas. An evacuation center was also set up where about 57 families or 228 persons sought refuge. – With reports from Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler.com