Soldiers evacuate 107 families in DavOr as water level rises

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MATI, DAVAO ORIENTAL (January 27)  —  Members of the 67th Infantry Battalion here helped the 107 families fom Cateel town to evacuate starting 12:07 this morning as the water level in Aragon dam started to swell.

The three-day heavy downpour brought about by the  tail-end of a cold front caused the swelling of the dam, which promoted the  provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council  (PDRRMC)  to order pre-emptive evacuation of 107 families  in Cateel town here, as water levels in Aragon dam  started to swell early this morning.

As of 6:06 in the morning today, the  National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has issued a red alert level in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley as water level is expected to rise due to the continuous  heavy downpour.

Philippine Army 701st Brigade Commander Col. Manuel Sequitin said that troops from the 67th Infantry Battalion led the evacuation of 24 families in Barangay Abejod; 5 families in Santa Felomina; 47 in Barangay San Miguel; 16 in San Vicente; 4 in San Alfonso; 11 in San Rafael; and 5 in Barangay Alegria. The said families are now evacuated to safer grounds, mostly in the nearby government schools and centers.

Said barangays are located near the  Aragon Dam, Seguitin disclosed “We ordered the pre-emptive evacuation when water level started to swell, it may overflow anytime.”

The members of  MDRRMO Cateel,  is closely monitoring the water level at the dam. As of 12:28 in the morning today, January 27, the water level is at 19.6 meters which is still at the alert level.

According to the PDRRMC, if water level reaches 21 meters, all high-risk communities will be evacuated. All vehicles in the area –government and private were also enjoined to help during the possible evacuation of residents.

Emergency Operation Center Manager and PDRRMO Assistant Head Francis Jason Bendulo said that the PDRRMC, headed by Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, ordered all members of the council to exhaust all efforts to ensure the safety of the people.

Governor Dayanghirang ordered the deployment of all heavy equipment prepositioned in all LGUs to Cateel town to aid the clearing and evacuation in areas affected. Some 1,000 food packs have also been sent to these areas.

At 7:30 in the evening, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has issued an Orange Rainfall Warning in the areas of Boston, Cateel, and Baganga. This emergency alert means “flooding is threatening in low lying areas and along river channels and landslides in mountainous areas.”

All members of the PDRRMC and their counterparts at the municipal level are continuously monitoring the situation on the ground. Kare Lou Deloso/PIO DavOr

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