FLOODED. A disaster responder from the Bureau of Fire Protection in Alabel town, Sarangani province checks a portion of Barangay Poblacion that was affected by heavy flooding early Saturday. At least seven houses were damaged while around 400 families evacuated for several hours due to the incident. (Photo grab from the Facebook post of BFP-Alabel)
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – At least seven houses were damaged while around 400 families evacuated for several hours from three villages in Alabel town, Sarangani province, following severe floods early Saturday.
Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Salarda said parts of barangays Ladol, Poblacion, and Bagacay were submerged in floodwater following hours of heavy rains, causing waterways to overflow.
Salarda said seven houses beside a creek traversing the three villages were swept by rushing floodwater but no casualties were reported.
Among those flooded was the San Isidro Labrador parish church in Poblacion in Alabel, and nearby residential areas.
Salarda said the affected residents took temporary shelter at the designated barangay evacuation centers but about half of them already returned to their homes as of Saturday noon.
He said the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is still assessing the extent of damage caused by the floods, adding the local government already provided food packs and other relief items to the evacuees.
“We’re continually monitoring the situation in the affected areas due to the continuing (inclement) weather,” he said in a radio interview.
The mayor acknowledged that flooding has been a perennial problem in low-lying portions of the three barangays but it worsened these past years.
Assistance has been sought from the provincial and national governments for the installation of more stable riprap on the banks of the two creeks — Bialong and Muleh — traversing the area.
Salarda added that they have stepped up the monitoring on the illegal cutting of trees in the upper portions of barangays Bagacay and Ladol, which he believed contributed to the flooding. (PNA)