Thousands evacuate as rivers hit critical level

CLOSE to 2,000 residents in Talomo District evacuated on Thursday evening as the water level in the rivers reached critical level.

The Central 911 and Davao City Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) issued an “assisted evacuation” advisory in the barangays of Matina Pangi, Matina Crossing, Matina Aplaya and Talomo Proper following the sudden increase of the water level of the rivers in Talomo and Matina areas.

Rodrigo Bustillo, chief of CDRRMO’s Operation on Warning Section, told TIMES that the rivers reached the critical level per CDRRMO water level monitoring system.

By 9 p.m., the CDRRMO imposed the assisted evacuation to the affected barangays. Residents living near the river banks were also advised to vacate their homes.

Bustillo said some areas near the river banks were already flooded.

Purok 11 and Purok 9 of Barangay Matina Pangi, the Arroyo Compound in Barangay Matina Crossing, and some areas in Barangay Matina Aplaya and in the NHA area in Bangkal, Barangay Talomo Proper were advised for assisted evacuation as they are the barangays connected with the Matina River susceptible to flooding.

The evacuated families were brought to the barangay hall of the respective barangays as their evacuation area.

In the data of the CDRRMO, there were about 337 families in Barangay Matina Crossing that were evacuated to the barangay hall.

Matina Crossing barangay captain Angela Librado, in her facebook post at around 9 p.m., said the barangay hall housed some 300 families with 1,571 residents.

The Central 911 responders, police officers and volunteer responders were deployed in the area to rescue the victims.

“Our responders were told to evacuate those residents near the river and flood prone areas,” Bustillo said.

Some residents refused to vacate, it was learned.

Accordingly, around 6 p.m. the water level in the river started to rise which was caused by the heavy rainfall experienced in the mountainous areas of the city, bringing the collected amounts of rainwater to the low lying areas.

However, at around 11 p.m. the evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes as the water level started to subside.

In 2011, a flashflood killed at least 25 persons in the area.


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