• ARMM relief arm helps Maguindanao flood victims

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    COTABATO CITY: The relief arm of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has been attending to the needs of about 25,000 persons affected by floods that hit 85 villages in Maguindanao’s 11 municipalities, the ARMM humanitarian office said Monday.

    Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary and chair of the Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART), told reporters that despite floods brought about by torrential rains the past few days in Maguindanao and nearby provinces, the affected families did not leave their homes.

    A boy was reported killed in Blensong, Upi, Maguindanao after a landslide hit a farmer’s home on Saturday. Three other family members were hospitalized.

    Affected towns, based on HEART monitoring, were Mamasapano, Ampatuan, Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Pagalungan, Datu Montawal, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglat, Rajah Buayan, Datu Piang, Sultan sa Baronggis and Sultan Kudarat.

    Alamia said aside from flooded homes, HEART also monitored some schools were also underwater in Sultan sa Barongis, Mamasapano, Sultan Kudarat, Kabuntalan and Datu Piang.

    Also affected were village health centers, rice fields and practically all that were situated beside the Rio Grande de Mindanao.

    Over the weekend, HEART personnel went out of their way to distributed relief goods to affected families. Each family received food packs composed of rice, noodles and sardines.

    Alamia said her unit is set to visit Datu Montawal and Pagalungan towns where several villagers had been underwater for days.

    Maguindanao which hosts the country’s second largest marshland had been the catch-basin of flood water from the mountains of North Cotabato, Davao Occidental, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

    It may not be raining in Maguindanao but surrounding provinces experience moderate to heavy downpour, Maguindanao’s low lying communities are easily inundated.

    The affected towns are perennial flooded communities that most people are used to it.

    The ARMM-HEART relief operation is the second batch as local government units are expected to immediately respond to the emergency needs of affected families through its calamity fund. PNA

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