Lanao Del Norte

Hundreds of families evacuate as floods hit Lanao del Norte towns

Merlyn Manos, Froilan Gallardo
Hundreds of families evacuate as floods hit Lanao del Norte towns

RESCUE. Tubod responders guide a family late night of January 2, 2023 through flooded streets.

Shane Ylanan, Arangkada Tubod LGU Facebook

(1st UPDATE) A search and rescue team finds the body of an an eight-year-old girl who was swept away by floodwater

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Mayor Dionisio Cabahug Jr. of Tubod town, Lanao del Norte, ordered the suspension of work in private and public offices on Tuesday morning, January 3, due as heavy rain overnight caused severe flooding.

The Tubod Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) said around 400 families evacuated from 12 barangays.

In Baroy town, an eight-year-old girl died after the motorcycle she was riding on was swept away by the floodwaters on Monday night.

Flash floods brought by heavy torrential rain affected the towns of Baroy, Lala, and Tubod, starting on Monday night, the provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said.

Senior Fire Officer 4 Roger Bontia, Baroy Fire Station chief, said Lorraine Grace Rafols was with her uncle and aunt on a motorcycle when a flash flood caught them as they tried to cross a stream.

Bontia said the uncle and aunt survived but the strong current carried Rafols away.

He said Rafols’ body was found by a search and rescue team early Tuesday morning, January 3.

“It took some time to reach the small stream. There were so many calls for assistance last night,” Rafols said.

Lou Ellen Antonio of the local Philippine Information Agency (PIA) office said the provincial disaster office reported responders rescued some 275 families or 1,058 people in overnight operations against the rampaging flash flood.

Antonio said 91 families or 367 people sought shelter in Baroy alone. Another 93 families or 318 people were evacuated from the town of Lala, and another 91 families or 373 individuals took shelter in Tubod.

She said the provincial government of Lanao del Norte was still assessing the damage to infrastructure as of this posting.

The flash floods came after a devastating Christmas flooding that hit Oroquieta City and other towns in neighboring Misamis Occidental that left at least 21 fatalities.

MDRRMO head Vicmar Paloma said incessant rain since the afternoon of January 2 caused the Bulod River to overflow. 

Disaster teams fanned out to communities as an evening red rainfall warning, indicating heavy to torrential rains, went out around 9 pm.

EVACUATION. A family in Tubod wades through floodwater to reach a rescue vehicle of the local government on January 2, 2023. Shane Ylanan, Arangkada Tubod LGU Facebook

Lala town, in the same province, also evacuated residents in Barangay Cabasagan as floodwaters rose.

On January 3, the Tubod MDRRMO said it had not recorded any casualties or missing persons related to the latest flooding. 

SAFE. Some of the 400 families that evacuated Tubod town barangays late afternoon and evening of Januaury 2, 2023. Lanao del Norte PDRRMO

Three evacuation centers are currently hosting affected families in Tubod. Barangay Pigcarangan has 266 families; Barangay Maluga, 19 families; and Barangay Poblacion, 91 families.

Mayor Haron Omar of Magsaysay town, Lanao del Norte, announced early evening of January 2 that the road connecting Barangay Muna-muna to Magsaysay proper and Tubod was not passable due to landslides and flooding.

The town’s disaster office, however, said the road was again passable around 1 am.

NEAR MISS. Residents of Barangay Olango, Magsaysay town, Lanao del Norte view the damage caused by a coconut tree falling on their house on January 2, 2023. Magsaysay MDRRMO
FLOODED GARDEN. Residents of this compound in Barangay P-3, Malingao, Tubod evacuated as waters entered their property. Ryan Cabuenas Plaza

Ryan Cabuenas Plaza, a resident of Barangay P-3 in Malingao, Tubod shared photos of the flood in their community, saying his family had evacuated to the house of their councilor. – Rappler.com

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