Days of rain brought destruction in several areas in Bukidnon, and officials warned of more floods and landslides until March next year because of the La Niña phenomenon.
It started on November 9 when Bukidnon saw torrential rains for the whole day.
It was the same day when several areas in neighboring Davao City were flooded, forcing families to seek shelter in evacuation sites.
Israel Johan Damasco, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) in Bukidnon, told Rappler on Thursday, November 18, that his office together with Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri inspected areas hit by torrential rains last Monday and Tuesday.
Then a heavy downpour on Tuesday, November 16, destroyed a newly constructed spillway along the provincial road in Sitio Harque, Barangay Adtuyon in Pangantucan town.
A bridge linking the municipalities of Dangcagan and Kadingilan was also swept away.
“That spillway was constructed two years ago. It was elevated yet the water still reached and pounded it. The hanging bridge was a walkway for the residents and a pathway for motorcycles,” Damasco said.
The provincial government of Bukidnon sent more than 200 sacks of rice and canned goods on November 17 to residents in Barangay Camp 1 in Maramag town where 240 families were adversely affected by the flood.
Another 23 families in Barangay Malinao in Kadingilan also were affected by the Tuesday rain.
On November 10, a footbridge in Barangay Kilaog in Sumilao town was swept away.
In San Fernando town, barangays Matupe, Durian and Sitio Simsimmon in Kalagangan were hit by flash flood on November 9.
Damasco said the help from the province is still on its way as the local government of San Fernando submitted its final assessment to the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) on Wednesday, November 17.
“There has been initial help sent to San Fernando. More are coming. The final list has been submitted already to PSWDO,” he said.
Damasco said the extent of the damages to infrastructure has yet to be determined by the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO).
Volunteers have been posting on social media, calling for donations for the affected communities in San Fernando town. They dubbed it as “Bayanihan Para sa San Fernando, Bukidnon.”
Mavic Hilario, one of the volunteers, told Rappler that as of Thursday, the group has raised about P51,000 in cash for 77 affected families in San Fernando.
The group plans to bring the relief items on Saturday, November 20.
“We are trying to raise P77,000 for all the 77 families so they could get a bayanihan pack each,” Hilarip said
Each pack would include a mat, a blanket, and P500 worth of goods.
“We need to act on their request for food, waterproof canvas, pots, kitchen utensils, mats, and blankets,” Hilario said.
Hilario said the flood occurred in the evening and the families could only save themselves from the rampaging waters, leaving their clothings and other essential items in their houses. – Rappler.com
Grace Cantal-Albasin is a Mindanao-based journalist and awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.