CAGAYAN De Oro Journal (BEN BALCE/Jan. 17) – At least 61,041 persons or 13,310 families have fled to evacuation centers or safer grounds yesterday as heavy rains continued to pour and swell floodwaters in low-lying areas in Agusan del Sur.
The rains have not let up since Dec. 30, 2006.
An initial report from the Provincial Disaster Management Council (PDMC) said nine towns and 75 barangays have already been affected as of 9:30 a.m., Jan. 16.
Among these are the flood-prone towns of Prosperidad, the capital; San Francisco, Loreto, Veruela , Esperanza, Bunawan, Talacogon, Bayugan, and Sta. Josefa.
The PDMC said nine barangays and more than 2,500 families in San Francisco town have been affected; 13 barangays and 3,875 families in Prosperidad; nine barangays and 1,580 families in Loreto; 13 barangays and 1,609 in Esperanza; 10 barangays and 3,033 families in Bunawan; three barangays and 119 families in Bayugan; and seven barangays and 561 families in Talacogon.
The PDMC has no numbers yet for Veruela and Sta. Josefa towns but continues to monitor the situation.
The council’s initial report said flash floods have also already damaged 2,448 hectares of crops, including vegetables.
Three casualties were reported, although it was not clear if they were just wounded or already dead: Lemuel Matulin Serrano,15, of Sampaguita, Veruela; Rolly A. Maboy, 12, of Baking-king, Esperanza, and Rustom C. Deploma, 5, of Cubo, Esperanza.