Heavy rains submerge Maguindanao towns

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BULUAN, Maguindanao: Heavy rains inundated this province anew affecting 10 towns in low-lying areas near the Liguasan Marsh, a catch basin for more than a dozen large rivers in Mindanao.

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The affected towns are Ampatuan, Datu Abdullah Sanki, Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Northern Kabuntalan, Pagalungan, Montawal, Sultan sa Barongis and Rajah Buayan.

Authorities blamed the continuous rains for days last week on large parts of Mindanao to have caused the massive flooding.

Relief teams were dispatched to the areas at the barangay (village) level to observe the flood while ascertaining the plight of the affected residents.

Provincial budget officer Lynette Estandarte, who spearheaded the initial relief mission, said an inspection of the affected towns showed that residents have not left their homes.

She added that initial relief goods were given to the families and more help will follow this week.

Some schools have suspended classes as water level continues to rise while temporary classrooms were built amid rains and floods.

Estandarte said school items, tents, medical assistance and feeding programs for the children will be provided on Tuesday.

Maguindanao, which literally means “land of flooded plains,” has been suffering from frequent heavy flooding.
Several short and long-term plans have been designed to contain the floods for decades with the worst disasters happening in 2011 and 2014.

Past administrations allocated P6.9 billion to the Liguasan Marsh under the Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development Project, with the Mindanao Development Authority administering the project.

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