Days of heavy rain wreak havoc in Cotabato town

Rommel Rebollido

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Days of heavy rain wreak havoc in Cotabato town

MUDDY. A group starts clearing a road of mud and boulders in President Roxas town, Cotabato.

courtesy of Jonathan Mahimpit

Floods and landslides result in two deaths, displace nearly 1,500 families, and damage infrastructure and farms valued at over P45 million in President Roxas town

COTABATO, Philippines – Days of frequent heavy rain have caused over P45 million in damage to public infrastructure, farms, and crops in a town in Cotabato province. 

Local authorities have raised the alert level for flooding, landslides, and further destruction in the town while urging residents to remain vigilant and make necessary preparations. 

Since July 8, the town has been plagued by destructive floods and landslides triggered by heavy downpours. 

The town’s disaster risk reduction and management office also confirmed that two women, 68-year-old Luzviminda Dubria and 42-year-old Jennifer Fortunada, drowned during a sudden surge of floodwaters in Upper Ipuan. 

According to Mayor Jonathan Mahimpit of the town, the floods and landslides have already incurred over P23 million in damage to roads and other infrastructure, as well as P24 million in crops and livestock. 

About 1,494 families fled their homes in search of safer ground as flash floods damaged houses. 

In nine barangays of the town, more than 50 houses were destroyed. 

On Thursday, July 13, the state weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a warning that the southwest monsoon is expected to bring more moderate to occasionally heavy rainfall to various Mindanao provinces, including Cotabato. 

Josiah Salvador, the head of the disaster risk reduction and management in the town, said they have been experiencing nearly daily downpours for nearly a month. 

Salvador said the government workers have cleared sections of roads covered in mud and boulders carried by the raging floodwaters. 

Mahimpit said the heavy rain over the past few days has caused flooding and river overflow, leading to the inundation of several barangays with water and mud. 

Arnolfo Villaruz, the head of the Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), reported that flooding has also affected nearly 700 families in the lowland town of Kabacan, located along the Rio Grande de Mindanao. 

The affected families are from the barangays of Plang, Aringay, and Salapungan. –

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