Flashfloods and landslides in south Philippines

More than 115,000 people in the Philippines’ northern Mindanao region had fled to safety due to flashfloods and landslides. Mindanao Island is located in southern Philippines.

The local government reported that the series of flashfloods that struck Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental have reached humanitarian crisis proportions:

“Figures at the Cagayan de Oro Disaster Coordinating Council showed the disaster has affected 16,104 families or 83,321 individuals jampacked in various evacuation centers in 47 barangays (villages) or more than half of the city’s 80 barangays.”

It added:

“The same places in the city have been hit by floods again and again it just depends how much time is there between the downpours. City Hall workers are trying to unclog the low bridges but they get clogged again and again with debris like coconuts, banana trunks, palm leaves and others.”

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There have been two waves of flooding in the past two weeks. Fritzi Gironella explains:

“The calamities that Cagayan de Oro suffered from two floods that hit the city within a week from last January 3 to January 11, 2009 are far from over. On the night of Jan. 13, Tuesday, more rain poured in the city and in neighboring towns in Bukidnon, causing the CDO and Iponan rivers to overflow and flood waters to rise again. As of January 14, 2009, in Cagayan de Oro, the number of barangays hit rose to 44, with about 15,000 affected families.”

Titus Velez mentions that the rains this week were stronger compared to the previous one that caused the flood:

“A little more than a week after the flash flood, Cagayan de Oro is again hit by floods and landslide. As of this time 1 am, water is steadily rising to the same level as last Saturday's flash flood. Rains have been pouring since last Saturday and as of today it has not stop. Residents are afraid because the rains today are stronger than the last one that caused the flood.”

My Life, My Thoughts writes about the flashfloods in Gingoog City:

Hello everyone! Last night I called my family right away after hearing the bad news from my cousin Karen. So sad that my hometown (Gingoog City, Philippines) suffered such horrible flash flood last January 14, 2009. It was a heavy rain that started Sunday morning (January 10, 2009) caused landslide, overflowed creeks and rivers when washed away by the rampaging floodwaters. After 23 years of living there this is the first time that it happened. It was around 3 am that the water had gone up to 5.5 feet OMG. The Flood victims, particularly those families living in the nearby creeks and rivers have already fled and evacuated to safer areas, some of them in barangay halls, health centers, church and schools. A big Thanks to all the rescuers.

A video of the flash floods:

Check also a video clip showing flood waters near the city shopping mall. Blogging Beauty identifies some of the damages left by the flooding:

“What the calamity left our city? I just listed some here:

1. Mud – brought by the flood of course. Along with the undesirable odor that stick with the dirty water with dissolved mud and dirts.

2. Garbage – some caused the flood. Some entered houses and some were scattered on the roads.

3. Damaged Creeks

4. Damaged Bridges – due to high volume of running water, some old and new bridges were damaged. This caused passengers to be stranded in Cagayan de Oro and in some municipalities.

5. Canceled Flights – no air traffic was available in the city due to heavy clouds surrounding the airport area.

6. Damaged Houses – some were even gone. Both the flood and the tidal waves caused some houses to break.

7. Damaged Farms – some rice fields which have rice ready for harvest were all washed out.

8. Damaged Economy – some livelihoods were damaged, some failed to report for work, some failed to operate. Like Gaisano in Carmen, the store was closed for a day because it was flooded. Some lost their farms and live stocks.”

Anything goes notes that the flooding disaster was the worst that hit the city:

“When my mom texted me about the flash floods in my hometown Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, I was a bit worried. Considering that I have read text messages from my friends that in some parts there, the flood was like neck-level. That is pretty dangerous. I remember the last time we had a bit of a flood, it was only almost knee-deep.

“I know a lot of friends who had big problems because water got in their homes. I could just imagine how worse those people who live in the neck-level affected areas are coping up. This was the worst flood in CDO history.”

Check more pictures of the flooding by visiting Cagayan de Oro City Info. There were also flooding disasters in other parts of the Philippines.


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