By Basir G. Alipolo
Cotabato City — A week-long torrential rains flooded 18 of Maguindanao’s 36 towns and disrupted classes of over 50 schools in the province, affecting some 10,000 students.
Among the flooded towns were: Mother Kabuntalan, Northern Kabuntalan, Pagalungan, Datu Montawal, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi, Rajah Buayan, Mamasapano, Sultan sa Barongis, Ampatuan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Piang, Pandag, Buluan, Mangudadatu, Sultan Kudarat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Talitay, and General Salipada Pendatun.
Lynette Estandarte, Maguindanao provincial budget officer, said some towns have been under knee-high water for months due to constant rains in the province and nearby provinces of the Soccsksargen Region.
Estandarte said at least 200 villages in 18 towns have been underwater for several days but no massive evacuation since the water went high and eventually recedes when the rains stop.
She said it affected an estimated 44,000 residents mostly resilient to floods having to live with it all their lives for living beside the marshland.
Dozens of villages in the towns of Pikit, Kabacan, Matalam, Mlang and Tulunan, all municipalities situated upstream of the marshland, were also flooded.
“The number of affected families could be higher because our counting only for those whom we distributed food packs and safe drinking water,” Estandarte told reporters,” she said, adding there are still un-served flood barangays.
On Tuesday, the provincial government had started distributing emergency food packs and conducted humanitarian missions to affected families.
In Upi, the hinterland town, waist level floods hit the villages of Nangi, Borongotan, Blensong, Nuro, Darugao, Rempes, Kaba-Kaba, displacing about 50 families. (with reports from pna)