61 still missing in Sarangani flash flood

The flash flood left an estimated P20-M damage on properties in the municipality with at least 30 houses totally destroyed

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Search and rescue teams are the continuing the search for the 61 reported missing persons who were swept away by a flash flood in Sarangani Province Monday evening, June 11.

In a resolution approved by Glan Mayor James Victor Yap, the entire municipality of Glan was already declared under a state of calamity.

Yap said that the flash flood left an estimated P20-million damage on properties in the municipality with at least 30 houses totally destroyed.

He said that Vice-president Jejomar Binay had already committed 1,000 packs of relief goods for the affected families.

Aside from the provincial government and the neighboring municipalities, Sarangani Province Representative Manny Pacquiao also pledged financial support for the victims and for the search and rescue operations, Yap said.

Convergence and collaboration of rescue and relief operations between the local government, PNP, Philippine Army, Navy, Coast Guard and other disaster relief and rescue units are currently being conducted in the affected barangays in the municipalities of Glan and Maasim.

Evacuation centers

Maj Jake Obligado, Civil-Military Operations Chief of the 10th Infantry Division, said that the missing individuals were indentified after the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils of the municipalities of Maasim and Glan conducted house-to-house surveys in every barangay to physically account for the affected families.

Obligado said that a total of 765 affected families are presently housed in 4 evacuation centers in the municipality of Glan.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) also reported that 276 persons, mostly fishermen, have been either rescued or washed ashore after the flash flood.

The Sarangani PDRRMO said that the local government of Maasim has dispatched search and rescue teams to barangay Big Margus in Glan.

Search and rescue units will also be dispatched to Balut Island to scour for more survivors.

Two persons were confirmed dead in the flooding brought by the torrential rain.  

Meanwhile in Palawan, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) found and retrieved the body of a 6th casualty in the MV Joecill 2 sea tragedy that occurred in El Nido, Palawan Tuesday, June 12.

The victim was identified as Juanito Tito, a village councillor of Barangay New Guinlo, Taytay.

Survivors interviewed over local radio DWAR said they last saw Tito removing his life jacket and giving it to an elderly passenger before they jumped together into the water.

According to the PCG, 6 passengers have been reported missing by relatives, while 56 have been rescued. Two of those missing were an 8-month-old infant and a certain Julito Buenafe.

The owner of the vessel, Silverio Atienza of Silverio Shipping Lines, acknowledged during a radio interview that the boat manifest did not include the names of other passengers who took the boat.

The Western Command reported 7 dead so far, while another unidentified body was retrieved Thursday afternoon. Search and rescue operations are still ongoing. – With reports from Karlos Manlupig/Rappler.com