Southern Philippines city submerged in floodBy Edwin Espejo Jan 21, 2013 7:35AM UTC
Torrential rains inundated many villages in Davao City as Bankerohan River overflowed and submerged houses along river banks displacing hundreds of residents.
Rescue operations were still ongoing Sunday night, after more than 24 hours of non-stop rain.
Davao City mayor Sara Duterte has suspended classes in the elementary and high school level as clean-up operations are still ongoing.
The city’s social welfare office said more than 5,000 families or 28,525 individuals were forced to move to higher grounds as waist-deep flood waters inundated much of the 12 villages along Bankerohan River.
Rescuers used rubber boats and jet skis to move stranded residents from their homes Saturday evening.
Some low-lying interior subdivisions were also submerged in flood water, almost covering the rooftops of houses in Jade Valley Subdivision in Tigatto, Buhangin village.
Major Jake Obligado, chief of the Civil Military Operations of the 10th Infantry Division, said operations to rescue residents still trapped inside their homes went well into Sunday afternoon.
He said the Army reported that rescuers saved saved a total of 1,620 families made up of 6,981 members.
City social workers have begun distributing relief goods and foodstuff to displaced residents.
Mayor Duterte said she will ask the City Council to convene today and declare a state of calamity in the city to expedite the release of calamity funds.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has advised families to remain in evacuation centers as water levels may still increase due continuing threat of rains caused by the tail-end of a cold front.
Davao City, one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines, has recently become flood-prone.
But this weekend’s flooding was one of the worst in the city in recent years.