Continuing heavy rains in South Cotabato resulted in landslides in four villages this week displacing 100 families. The situation has prompted the provincial government to provide permanent resettlement sites for their safety.
The four villages, all on the list of landslide-prone areas prepared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region are: Barangay El Nonok in Banga; Canahay in Surallah; and Linan and Palkan in Tupi.
Nelida N. Pereira, provincial disaster risk reduction management council action officer, said "a one hectare lot has already been acquired by the provincial government to ensure safety of affected families." Another two one-hectare lots would be divided into the families affected in Barangays Palkan and Canuhay.
Mines bureau’s geologist Jaime G. Flores said "the villages are located in topographically unsound areas in danger of landslides in times of heavy and continuous rains." Besides being located in mountainous and steep areas, these barangays are also surrounded by plantations, or are near the Allah and Banga river tributaries.
The Allah and Banga rivers connect 341 barangays in South Cotabato to Maguindanao and Cotabato City. Adjacency areas to the rivers are prone to flooding and land slide. Mr. Flores said that plantations reduce the vegetation in the affected areas and heavy rains may loosen the soil, thus landslides could happen.
ABOUT P850 million worth of infrastructure and crops were damaged and 810 families rendered homeless after days of heavy rains that caused floods in the Davao Region, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reported.
Rebecca Lopez, officer in charge of the agency, said in the Kapehan sa PIA yesterday that Barangay Darong in Sta. Cruz sustained the most damage with 391 houses destroyed. “The families are currently housed in evacuation centers within their municipality,” Lopez said.
The International Pipe Industries in Brgy. Darong also sustained about P200 million in damages.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration-XI confirmed that Sta. Cruz attained more damages as a tornado hit the municipality, causing the Sibulan River to overflow.
The situational report of the OCD-XI further said that P1.9 million worth of buildings and other structures in the city were destroyed, and that about P130,000 worth of vegetables, bananas and cacao were also damaged due to flashfloods that peaked on Jan. 16 to 17.