Flash flood hits Lanao Norte village, bridge collapses

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

KAPATAGAN, Lanao del Norte -- An estimated 1,285 individuals from 284 families of barangay Lapinig, this town, fled their homes after a flash flood hit the coastal barangay dawn on Monday.

Pacita Simbrano, Lapinig village chief, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro, “The flash flood was triggered by sustained rainfall for the past three days now.”

“Apektado kaayo ang mga tawo sa baha (the residents are badly affected by the flash flood),” she added.

Flash flood hits Kaptagan, Lanao del Norte
LANAO DEL NORTE. Residents living in the interior part of the coastal village of Lapinig in Kapatagan town in Lanao del Norte flee from their homes dawn on January 13 as flash flood waters keep on rising brought about by sustained rainfall for the past three days. (Richel V. Umel)


Simbrano said the provincial social welfare office (PSWO) and the local government unit of Kapatagan have initially extended assistance to the evacuees who took shelter in the barangay hall and other government buildings. Others stayed at the nearby church.

Simbrano said that around 2:00 a.m. on January 13 an estimated three kilometers of landslide blocked the national highway which prompted the vehicles to wait until the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) heavy equipment cleared the highway en route to Zamboanga del Sur and Iligan City.

By 9 a.m. Monday, the road was already passable.

Flash flood, landslide hit Kaptagan, Lanao del Norte
LANAO DEL NORTE. Heavy equipment and personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways conduct clearing operations along the national highway in barangay Lapinig, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte after the main road was temporarily closed due to landslide. (Richel V. Umel)

Bridge collapses

However, at 9 p.m. also on Monday, the bridge in Barangay Napo in Linamon town linking to Barangay Lapayan in Kauswagan town collapsed forcing traffic going to other Lanao Norte towns, Zamboanga and Misamis Occidental provinces to halt.

Kapatagan municipal councilor Paul Lagura said the Provincial and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils have jointly deployed rescue teams to facilitate the evacuation.

No casualties were reported except for the flooded rice field.

“We are encouraging the people to plant trees to prevent further soil erosion while we will tap the DPWH to come up with a drainage project to prevent overflow of creeks that run to the national highway,” Lagura said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 14, 2014.

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