Flashflood inundates 4 Zambo Sur towns; 1 dies, 1 missing

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By Teofilo P. Garcia, Jr [(PNA), RMA/TPGJR]

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 23 (PNA) – One person drowned while a child remained missing and feared dead when flashflood, spawned by inclement weather condition, inundated four towns in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

Ten people, including a public school teacher, who were swept by strong current were safely rescued after they managed to hold on mangroves and nipa palms.

Chief Insp. Rogelio Alabata, Police Regional Office-9 (PRO-9) information officer, said Friday that continuous downpour spawned the flashflood that inundated the towns of Dimataling, Dinas, Lapuyan and San Miguel in Zamboanga del Sur.

Alabata identified the fatality as Merlina Coral, 51, a farmer in Barangay Salaogan, Dimataling municipality.

Alabata said missing and feared dead was Coral’s granddaughter, Marjori Lorenia, six, a grade one pupil.

Alabata said the duo were asleep when Coral’s house, located near the riverbank, was swept by strong current as the river swelled and overflowed brought about by continuous downpour around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.

He said Coral was recovered dead while her granddaughter remained missing and feared dead.

He said members of the Barangay Emergency Response Team (BERT) and policemen have managed to rescue 10 people, including a public school teacher, after they were swept by flashflood around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Poblacion, Lapuyan town.

Rescued were Oliva Nuñez, 81; Noel Nuñez, 14; Nicole Nuñez, nine; Mariah Justine Anna Nuñez, six; Ma Roxanne Nuñez, 15; Vincent Paul Garsuta, 17; Francine Kate Garsuta, 11; Brian Sumalpon, 18; Eldie Gramatica; and, Ma. Rosanna Nuñez, 48, a teacher of the Lapuyan National High School.

“They were carried away by the strong current. Accordingly, (the) victims were able to hold on mangrove trees and nipa palms along the riverbank,” Alabata said.

Alabata said they managed to climb to “higher ground” until the rescue teams arrived and rescued them.

Alabata said some 600 residential houses were affected by the flashflood that hit Barangay Poblacion, Lapuyan. The estimated worth of damages is more or less Php 500,000.

He said that a house made of light materials owned by Gina Ecat, 47, was swept and totally destroyed when the river overflowed around 1 a.m. Thursday in Barangay Legarda Dos, Dinas municipality.

The estimated property damage was placed at Php70,000 and no casualty was reported.

Alabata said that a sports utility vehicle (SUV) owned by Rogelio Loquias was swept away and damaged in a flashflood that occurred around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Poblacion, San Miguel town.

He said no casualty was reported although the flashflood reached six feet high.

He said the water rescinded when the rain stopped.