DPWH clears vital roads in Lanao del Sur

A general view of the flooded Municipality of Kabacan, North Cotabato, on the southern island of Mindanao on December 23, 2017, after Tropical Storm Tembin dumped torrential rains across the island. The death toll from a tropical storm in the southern Philippines climbed swiftly to187 as rescuers pulled dozens of bodies from a swollen river, police said. / AFP PHOTO / FERDINANDH CABRERA

THE Department of Public Works and Highways – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM) has cleared roads of fallen trees and mud fragments leading to six Lanao del Sur towns hit by tropical storm “Vinta.”

“The highways going to Lanao del Sur are now passable,” Engr. Mustapha Don Loong, DPWH-ARMM secretary, told reporters here.

The severely-affected towns include Bubong Raman, Ditsaan Ramain, Buadipuso-Buntog, Wato Balindong and Tugaya.

Also cleared from mudslides were the roads leading to Poona Bayabao, Lumba Bayabao and Tamparan.

Floodwaters submerged the six towns since Friday due to torrential rains brought by “Vinta” as it crossed Northern Mindanao.

At least 20 people were reported to have perished from the storm, according to the ARMM’s Humanitarian Emergency Assistance Response Team headquarters based in this city.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman has ordered the ARMM-HEART to deploy rescue and relief units to the storm-stricken towns.

In Maguindanao, floods also inundated the adjacent towns of Pagalungan and Montawal coming from the swollen Kabacan River.

The Kabacan tributary forms part of the Cotabato River Basin that catches water from Bukidnon and Region 10 leading to the 220,000-hectare Liguasan Marsh situated in the tri-boundaries of Maguindanao, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces.

The Maguindanao provincial government is now responding to the needs of thousands of affected families. p: wjg