Work at the municipal hall of Pagalungan in Maguindanao was suspended Thursday as the town’s government center remains submerged in floodwaters, local officials said.
Mayor Salik Mamasabulod has ordered the suspension of office works of all local government workers until Friday but has required front-liners and disaster workers to report for duty, according to Vice Mayor Abdillah G. Mamasabulod.
“This is to ensure that lives are saved and to cushion the impact of this natural calamity,” the vice mayor said in a radio interview.
He said the municipal compound was flooded after the water level of Pulangi River overflowed following overnight rainfall spawned by Tropical Depression Ofel.
Aside from Pagalungan, also flooded are the towns of Datu Montawal in Maguindanao and the towns of Pikit, Kabacan, and Antipas in North Cotabato.
In the adjoining towns of Pagalungan and Datu Montawal, an initial report said the affected families have reached 15,000 in at least 30 villages.
Maguindanao GoV. Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu has ordered the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council to evaluate the effects of flash floods so ample emergency relief assistance can be provided.
Meanwhile, in the North Cotabato town of Pikit, at least 20 villages were severely affected by the floods.
“These areas are perennially flooded areas every time there is a heavy downpour,” said Engr. Noli Villaruz, North Cotabato provincial disaster management operations chief, in a separate interview.
He said damage to properties and agriculture is yet to be determined within the next few days.
Both disaster management offices of Maguindanao and North Cotabato have reported no casualties as of Thursday. (PNA)