By Philippines News Agency
COTABATO CITY — At least three towns in Maguindanao province were submerged in floodwaters following downpours spawned by a low-pressure area and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) east of Mindanao, officials said Saturday.
At least 28 villages in Datu Piang and Datu Salibo, both in Maguindanao, were knee-deep in floodwaters, according to provincial disaster officials.
In Datu Piang, 16 low-lying villages have been inundated, an annual occurrence in these communities, said town disaster risk reduction and management officer, Eduardo Diesto.
Datu Piang and Datu Salibo are catch basins of floodwaters flowing from Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Shariff Aguak, also in Maguindanao, which are located in higher grounds.
“The floodwater is still rising because it is raining in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat,” Datu Piang resident Propes Salik, 39, a trisikad (passenger tricycle) driver.
Barangay Pagatin in Datu Saudi Ampatuan was also flooded, he said.
Disaster officials said other low-lying towns were also flooded but the Office of Civil Defense in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OCD-ARMM) has yet to receive situational reports.
Floods are perennial problems in at least 16 towns surrounding the vast Maguindanao marshland, also known as the Liguasan marsh.
The marshland is a catch basin of floods whenever heavy to moderate rains drench the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and parts of Bukidnon.
Prone to floods are the towns of Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, Sultan sa Barongis, SK Pendatun, Buluan, Mangudadatu, Pandag, Pagalungan, Datu Montawal, Sultan Mastura, Sultan Kudarat, Kabuntalan Mother and Northern Kabuntalan, all surrounding the Maguindanao marshland.
The water exits through the Rio Grande de Mindanao.
Disaster officials and front-liners reported no casualty in Saturday’s floods.