Floods displace 15,000 villagers in Maguindanao


FLOODWATERS submerged 11 villages of the town of Montawal in Maguindanao since Saturday dawn when the Kabacan River overflowed from the onslaught of typhoon “Vinta.”

Some 15,000 villagers evacuated along the side of the national highway linking North Cotabato and Maguindanao and put up makeshift tents for shelter.

Vice Mayor Oto Montawal said residents had grown resilient to recurring floods through the years that they quickly rushed to the national highway and set up tents, which made the two-lane highway narrower.

Baidido Atong, a resident of Barangay Bulit, Datu Montawal, said her family preferred to stay at the roadside facing her house which was underwater since Saturday dawn.

Hundreds of motorists were stuck along the section of the highway here for several hours as the floodwater overflowed through the concrete road.

The Malitubog-Maridagao river also swelled around 5 a.m. inundating several villages in Pikit, North Cotabato, and affecting an undetermined number of residents.

Meanwhile, several passenger vans were stuck in the flooded streets, causing traffic congestion.

Motorists endured a three-hour travel from Datu Montawal to Kabacan town in North Cotabato, a route which they normally traverse in five minutes.

According to village official Kagi Karon of Barangay Bulit, the floodwater continued to rise as of 6 a.m. Sunday.

Meanwhile, the nearby village of Kayaga in Kabacan, North Cotabato was also submerged by floods, including vast tract of rice fields.

Homes and public schools in Barangay Malabuaya, Datu Montawal were also submerged by floods.

There was no reported casualty in the disaster. p: wjg