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Agusan town still flooded after 4 days of rains


VERUELA, Agusan del Sur— The inland town of Veruela in Agusan del Sur remains submerged after enduring four consecutive days of relentless rainfall, affecting 12 out of its 20 villages.

Clyde Bonita, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (MDRRMO), reported that floodwaters from the overflowing Agusan River began to rise on Monday night, engulfing the low-lying villages.

Rescue teams,comprised of personnel from the MDRRM Office, local police, and the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion, have been utilizing motorized bancas to deliver reliefgoods such as 5-kilogram bags of rice, canned sardines, meat loaves, cornedbeef, and sachets of coffee. This is necessary as vehicles are unable to navigate the deep floodwaters.

Affected households have sought refuge in the dry homes of relatives, receiving food packs there since even evacuation centers, located in public school buildings,are also inundated.

In response to the crisis, the Sangguniang Bayan passed Resolution No. 199 Series of 2024,declaring the Municipality of Veruela under a State of Calamity due to flooding caused by a shear line weather system that brought heavy rains to Mindanao.

Mayor MyrnaMondejar, through a memorandum, has extended the suspension of classes at alllevels and work in government offices, both public and private, since Wednesday in the heavily affected villages of Binongan, Poblacion, and San Gabriel.

The order will remain in effect until floodwaters recede, and as of Friday, there are no plans to lift the suspension.

“This is the worst flooding we’ve experienced in a decade,” Bonita stated in a mobile phone interview with Mindanews. He noted that 70-80 percent of the floodwaters originate from higher areas in the Magdiwata Mountain Range of the neighboring Davao de Oro province.

According to Bonita, continuous heavy rains have caused a significant amount of water to cascade into the Agusan Marsh as a catchment area. “We absorb all the floodwaters coming from the mountain,” he explained.

The agri-industrial development, particularly banana plantations, has boosted the economy in the neighboring towns of Davao de Oro but has also led to severe flooding in the river towns of Agusan del Sur located along the banks of the Agusan River and the marshland.

The floodedvillages include San Gabriel, Binongan, Poblacion, La Fortuna, Don Mateo, Magsaysay, Sampaguita, Sinobong, Del Monte, Limot, Sta. Emilia, and Bacay II.

Numerous roadnetworks remain impassable in the affected areas of the national highway. The secondary national highway connecting Bunawan town and Veruela is not passable even for large trucks.

The national highway connecting Barangay Katipunan in Veruela and Barangay Binucayan in Loreto town is only accessible to single motorcycles due to a washed-out road portion caused by a landslide.

Bonita issued a warning that the Sitio Palo bridge in Poblacion is no longer safe for any type of vehicles to pass, as it could be swept away by the rampaging floodwaters.



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