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Two dead, 5 missing in Sarangani floods, storm surge


GENERAL SANTOS CITY - Two persons were confirmed dead while five others were reported missing as flashfloods and storm surges brought by torrential rains pummeled several coastal communities and offshore fishing boats in Glan town in Sarangani province on Tuesday.
Glan Mayor Victor James Yap said Wednesday a local resident was initially killed Tuesday morning after almost nonstop rains for several hours caused a major river in the area to swell, triggering flashfloods in five coastal villages.

He said the victim, who was identified as farmer Segapo Cabigding, 63, reportedly drowned after being carried away by rushing floodwaters that swept a portion of Purok 5 in Barangay Cross at around 6:45 am.

Yap identified the second victim as fisherman Rolando Mata, 40, who was listed as a resident of Purok Saeg of Barangay Calumpang here.
He said Mata reportedly drowned after a storm surge destroyed their motorized banca while they were fishing off the coasts of Glan Tuesday morning.

“The search and rescue operations are presently ongoing as there are still a number of fishermen who remained unaccounted and still missing,” the mayor said.

Citing a report from the Glan MDRRMC, Yap said the flashfloods mainly affected Barangays Cross, Small Margus, Pangyan, Big Margus and Poblacion.
He said 192 families in Big Margus, 126 in Pangyan and 250 in Cross, or a total of 568 were so far displaced by the floods.
A total of 162 houses, most of which are in Barangay Cross, were totally destroyed while 111 others sustained partial damages, he said.
The MDRRMC initially placed the damage to properties and infrastructure in the area at P7.2 million.

One of the damaged infrastructure was the main approach of the Pangyan bridge that was valued at P1 million.
Yap said the affected residents have taken temporary shelter in barangay halls and gymnasiums and were being assisted by MDRRMC personnel.
He said the MDRRMC and the provincial government led by Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez initially delivered food and relief items to the affected areas late Tuesday afternoon.

“The floodwaters have so far subsided but our personnel were still checking whether it’s now safe for the evacuees to return to their homes,” Yap said.

The mayor said he has directed the MDRRMC and the municipal council to convene anew Wednesday to further assess the situation in the affected areas and declare the town under a state of calamity.

“We need to make this declaration so we can augment our relief operations and allocate funds for the immediate repair of the damaged infrastructure,” he said.

Meantime, Police Officer 2 Ruel Balanag, Glan police station spokesman, said the storm surge destroyed and capsized a total of five motorized bancas off the town’s coastal waters Tuesday morning.

He said 54 fishermen, who were mostly residents of this city and nearby Maasim town in Sarangani, have so far been rescued by the Philippine Coast Guard and local government rescue teams but five of them remained missing.

An MDRRMC report identified one of those missing as Rani Pregoner, 15, of Barangay Kabatiol, Maasim.
Maasim Mayor Arturo Lawa said 27 of the rescued fishermen from his town have already returned home late Tuesday night through assistance of the local government of Glan.

Lawa said the Maasim MDRRMC is presently coordinating with officials of Glan and other concerned government agencies to help locate the missing fishermen from his town.

“We’ve also dispatched our patrol boats to the area to assist in the search and rescue operations,” he said.

by: PNA

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