3 dead after floods swamp Cagayan de Oro City

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Cagayan de Oro City (CNN Philippines) — At least three people are dead here as massive floods subsided Tuesday, officials said.

The Cagayan De Oro City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said three people including a teenager, were reported dead due to flood-related incidents.

A heavy downpour which began on Monday afternoon caused rivers in the city to overflow, leading to severe floods in commercial and residential areas.

Cagayan De Oro government officials declared a state of calamity at 2 a.m. Tuesday. At 3:50 p.m., the city's disaster risk reduction and management council announced that "Cagayan de Oro city is back to normal status."

Nearly 160 mm of water--about a month's worth of rain--poured down the city on Monday, leaving roads unpassable and residents stranded, with many seeking refuge inside the city's malls.

Three dead, cleanup and relief underway

Fatalities include a 14-year old boy, who was killed during evacuation after the wall of his house collapsed, Cagayan De Oro City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council officer-in-charge Allan Porcadilla said.

A 60-year-old man is said to have drowned while fishing in the river, while an 84-year old man's body was discovered following reports that he had drowned in the flash flood, he added.

Rising water levels also prompted the evacuation of more than 1,200 families, especially those living near the Ipunan River, which traverses the city. Porcadilla some of the evacuees have been allowed to return home as the river levels have gone back to normal.

Read: Heavy rain causes flash floods in CDO, Misamis Oriental

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said cleanup operations are underway.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Moreno said while the traffic and flooding had stymied earlier operations, the city is now recovering from the flood.

He said the government was alarmed by the extraordinary amount of rain on Monday, but was on top of things and had ordered preemptive evacuation for those living near riverbanks.

With the floods gone, they are working on clearing the streets of trash and debris. Local companies are also helping with the cleanup operations and sending heavy equipment.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Department of Social Welfare and Development is providing assistance to families affected by the floods.

The Department said it has 3,200 bags of rice for Misamis Occidental, as well as Camiguin, Iligan and Bukidnon, which were also affected by floods. It also has 9,000 family food packs and 2,000 dignity kits, which it will send Tuesday.

Monitoring of river to continue

The National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council said it will not be stepping in. The national council's Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Ricardo Galad said response is manageable at the local government unit and agency level.

Local authorities will continue to monitor the Ipunan River, which earlier reached critical level but has now subsided.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has yet to lift its "yellow" rainfall warning in the city.

A "yellow" warning means flooding is expected in low-lying areas.

PAGASA issued a yellow warning for Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidon, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur in its 7 a.m. Tuesday advisory.

The heavy rainfall was caused by two weather disturbances.

Vergel Lago, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council weather monitoring chief, said a low pressure area and the tail end of the cold front caused downpour that started at 2 p.m. Monday.

Porcadilla said this rainfall led to "urban flooding" after water from the mountains flowed down to the city's low-lying areas. He said this was aggravated by trash in clogged canals, which prevented the water from subsiding.

Cagayan de Oro-based journalist Alwen Sariling contributed to this story