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1 killed, thousands displaced as heavy rains hit ComVal

By: Frinston Lim - @inquirerdotnetInquirer Mindanao / 05:24 AM January 25, 2017 TAGUM CITY — One person was killed in a landslide as heavy rains continued to hit Compostela Valley and nearby provinces until Tuesday, triggering severe flooding that forced thousands to seek shelter on safer ground, disaster officials said. Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy has ordered the suspension of operations of small-scale miners in the gold-rich province. The state weather bureau warned that moderate to heavy rains, brought by a cold front, could bring disastrous flooding and landslides in Compostela Valley and vast swaths of Southern Mindanao already drenched following weeks of rain.



Raul Villocino, Compostela Valley disaster action officer, said the landslide occurred at Pamintaran village, Maragusan town past 10 p.mMonday, burying a house and its two occupants.


“A man was killed after a landslide hit his house while he and his wife were inside,” Villocino told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by mobile phone on Tuesday.

The victim, identified as 47-year old Lester Gador, reportedly saved his wife by shielding her as an avalanche of loose earth and mud fell on their house, Villocino said. The man’s body was retrieved around 9 a.m. on Tuesday. His injured wife was likewise rescued, Villocino added.

Gador was the second casualty due to flooding and landslides in the province.

Also on Monday, a 16-year old mentally challenged boy drowned while crossing a swollen river in New Bataan municipality.

At least 1,200 families have been displaced in the province as a result of the flooding and landslides as of Tuesday morning and authorities were expecting the number to rise as water levels in major rivers like Agusan and Manat continue to increase.

Villocino said seven of the province’s 11 municipalities were affected by the flooding, and that provincial officials were still uncertain whether to lift the order of cancellation of classes by Wednesday.

Aside in Maragusan, minor landslides were also reported in Monkayo, Montevista and New Bataan towns.

“We are continuing our monitoring and assessment because floodwater levels remain unpredictable as rains were continuing. The risk of flooding is still high,” Villocino said.

In Davao del Norte, major rivers like Saug and Libuganon are nearing spilling point, with floodwaters hitting critical levels.

Major roads like portions of Tagum-Kapalong highway have become impassable to light vehicles by Tuesday night.

More than a thousand families have also sought shelter to safer ground as a result of flooding in the province.  SFM


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