GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Rampaging floodwaters swept away nearly four dozen graves in a cemetery in Sultan Kudarat province where a river overflowed and inundated communities on Thursday afternoon, August 11.
Authorities said 30 cadavers were recovered so far by villagers on Friday, and the search for about a dozen others was ongoing as of this posting.
Bagumbayan Mayor Jonalette de Pedro said days of heavy rains this week made the Allah River swell and overflow, inundating a large area in the riverside town.
He said at least 400 villagers evacuated to safer grounds as of Friday.
Harry John Hurtada, head of the town’s disaster management office, said the floodwaters swept away close to 50 graves at the Muslim Cemetery in Barangay Biwang.
“There are about a dozen more human remains that need to be recovered,” he said.
Government search teams and villagers have so far found 30 human remains, some of them recently buried.
The search continues downstream using drones, Hurtada said.
He said the recovered remains were buried again based on Islamic practices.
The Allah River, with a headwater in the hinterlands of T’boli town in South Cotabato, traverses three provinces, including Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao, toward the Liguasan Marsh.
In the 1990s, the river swelled and a flood killed many people and destroyed croplands and other properties worth millions of pesos.
Irrigation canals in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao draw water from the river. – Rappler.com