Sunday, January 18, 2009

An Urgent Appeal For Help for the Flood Victims of Misamis Oriental

Our NGO (CAPP-SIAD) received an urgent appeal from our partner NGO - Balay Mindanaw Foundation, for help for the flood victims in our project sites.

Below is a situation report. For those who are interested to give support, financial or otherwise, please send email to either of the following addresses:

or visit


Hi ... Nabigla din kami...last Sunday evening, we had to "rescue" Balay Mindanaw staff living in Iponan...grabeng bilis ang pagtaas ng ngayon, napakadilim pa rin dito...

Ayi was able to get some funds from LWR kaya busy ang mga kasama mag-repack ng mga goods (food and non-food) for distribution...

I have sent requests to Parfund, Pacap, CordAid and Misereor... nag-SOS na rin kasi ang mga LGUs na nauubusan na sila ng supply ng pagkain...


Balay Mindanaw
International Center for Peace in Mindanaw (ICPeace in Mindanaw)
53A, 12th Street, Zone 2, Upper Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City
Mindanao, Philippines
Mobile Numbers: +639188877111 and +639177176000

Kaangayan, Kalambuan, Kalinaw...
Equity, Development, Peace...

Flashflood in Misamis Oriental: Not Only Once, But Twice at the Start of the Year
Balay Mindanaw International Center for Peace in Mindanaw (ICPeace)
Kab-ot Gahum: Resource Center for Empowerment and Development (RCED)


A Victim’s Ordeal

“Nagkurog ko sa katugnaw, ug nakaingon ko nga mao ra ni akong kamatyan, ang katugnaw! (I was shivering from the cold, and I thought I would die because of coldness)” This was the statement of Mrs. Fortunata “Mommy Tats” Dugaduga, a resident of Molugan, El Salvador, Misamis Oriental, who is one of the victims of the flashflood on January 11, 2009 in Misamis Oriental.

Around lunch time on a rainy Sunday, Mommy Tats fled from their house in Molugan, El Slavador together with her grand daughter to seek refuge in the house of her daughter in law, Gia Fatima O. Dugaduga. They were fetched by her daughter in law on board a family owned jeepney and proceeded to Brgy Tabok, Opol but to no avail, the area was already flooded. They proceeded to the house of the Mr. and Mrs. Godo Obsioma, parents of Gia at Gordo, Barra, Opol. They thought that the place was already safe for them to seek shelter. Early in the evening, they were already on the top of the jeepney they rode earlier, hoping to be spared from the flood. It was not later than 10:00 in the evening that they were fetched by a rubber boat and brought to safer place by the 4ID rescue team. So were Gia, who is 7 months pregnant, and her 5 year old son. Left on top of the jeepney were Gia’s parents and brother. It was only at 6 in the morning of January 12 that all of them were reunited and were brought back to Gia’s house, safe but weary from the ordeal.

This is only one of the many thousand stories of the many victims affected of the flashflood.
The Province of Misamis Oriental

Misamis Oriental is located in the northern coast of Mindanao. As presented in the website of the province, it is bounded by the Macajalar Bay on the North; Provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte on the South and Southwest; Agusan del Norte on the East; and Iligan Bay on the West. It has a total population of 664, 338 that belongs to the 132, 042 households with an average household size of 5 according to the 2000 census report.

The province covers a total land area of 357, 010 has that is divided by 23 municipalities and three cities. Generally, the province is composed of rugged and punctuated mountain ranges with coastal plains, rivers, and valleys. The eastern part of the province consists of sharp angular hills cut by streams in deep gorges while the coastline is irregular with bays and bordered by sloping lowlands and river valleys between canyons. The coastal lowlands are also narrow and many streams are crossing between the areas. The western part is composed of rough upland hils rising abruptly from the sea level.

The Flashfloods

The year began with two flashfloods a week and a day interval affecting the province of Misamis Oriental. As described topographically, it is comprised of coastline areas with bays and streams and rivers that made the whole province a flashflood prone area. Although, dikes and flashflood protection mechanisms have been established, the province was not spared from being affected by the worst flashfloods ever in the province’s history.

As published on Sunstar CDO on the January 11, 2009 flashflood, “Three cities and 12 towns in Misamis Oriental were flooded Sunday after hours of heavy rainfall. The Misamis Oriental Disaster Coordinating Council (MODCC) said at least 1,552 families or 7,760 persons were evacuated to higher grounds when waters rose near the riverbanks.”

The data above was updated as reported by the Disaster and Coordinating Councils of the Province of Misamis Oriental and the City of Cagayan de Oro. To date, there are 11, 878 families affected coming from 100 barangays covering the 13 municipalites and three cities in the province of Misamis Oriental.

Last January 3, 2009, a total of 4,459 families (17, 525 individuals) have been affected by the flashflood only in the city of Cagayan de Oro, the capital city of the province of Misamis Oriental as reported by the provincial and city disaster coordinating councils. The areas affected in this incident were 13 barangays, and were again affected and more barangays were included in the most recent flashfloods last January 11, 2009.

With the most recent flashfloods, various agencies from the government and the private sector and civil society have come together and provided support. Rescue teams coming from different rescue volunteer groups have taken actions including the military. Relief operations have been established in different LGUs and churches also helped in the relief and became evacuation centers both from the Protestants and Roman Catholics groups.

So far, only a few goods have been delivered as reported to the PDCC and these were 23 sacks of rice, seven boxes of canned sardines, seven boxes of noodles were delivered in the muncipalities of Opol, El Salvador, and Alubijid, and also at the Cagayan de Oro College Phinma Evacuation Center in Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City.

The Immediate and Long-Term Response Needed

To date, there are more than 10, 000 families that need immediate shelter, clothing, food, medicines, safe potable water spread in the whole province. These are the immediate needs of the residents who are tired and weary of what they have experienced as a families and as individuals. Resources for relief both in goods and monetary forms are encouraged to be raised in support to the families affected.

For the medium and long term response to the communities and areas affected is to provide human resource assistance in assessment, rescue and relief operations in affected communities. According to Felino P. Lansingan of the University of the Philippines, “Factors that influence the occurrence of floods are anthropogenic in nature. Thus, humans can eliminate or reduce vulnerability to flooding. Resilience to floods may be enhanced if appropriate strategies and measures can be implemented. Effective strategy and implementation plan require a suite of combination of mitigation, coping and adaptation measures. Response strategies must be developed at different levels of government, and must involve mitigation, preparedness program, response, and recovery. This requires collective LGUs’ plans of actions and concerted efforts.”

In all these areas, the most common feature of these municipalities and cities is the presence of major rivers and location are in mostly in the coasts, with residents on the riverside and in the coastal areas. Major flood controls are not established in these areas, and the most of the residentes are living in the disaster prone locations. Residents cannot be relocated in other safer areas for they are mostly homeless, landless, and livelihood activities are in these areas.

Hence, the call for a concerted effort in addressing the present situation is needed. But the greatest call is the call decades ago which is protection of the environment, securing safety of the people, strengthening community awareness and joint community action.

Below is the updated and consolidated disaster report as of January 12, 2009.

Areas Affected/ Barangays / Municipalities/ Total Families Affected/ Remarks

Gingoog City

6 barangays
1,412 people affected
• 1 casualty; 1 missing
• 1 house totally damaged
• 5 houses partially damaged
• Evacuation centers are the barangay halls of the affected barangays and the central school

El Salvador City
4 barangays
500 people affected
• No report of damages yet, for assessment as of reporting period
• Phil Rescue 2000 has been deployed at 11 am due to unpassable highways and only buses are able to pass through the flooded road (January 11)

Cagayan de Oro City
35 barangays
6,953 households (33, 770 individuals)
• There are seven barangas with no data as of reporting time but was reported to have been affected.
• To date, there are 71 partially damaged houses while there are 98 totally damaged houses
• Three of these barangays are already, meaning the evacuees have returned to their respective homes.
• The barangays located in the riverbanks are not yet cleared as safe

Misamis Oriental
13 municipalities (Balingasag, Medina, Lagonglong, Alubijid, Opol, Naawan, Manticao, Tagoloan, Balingoan, Initao, Jasaan, Talisayan, and Salay)

55 barangays
3, 013 people affected
• Subdivisions namely Vamenta and Johndorff in Barangay Barra, Opol main entrance have been closed for safety purposes for the road is still heavily flooded and is still not safe. It is still being assessed at present
• Damaged (concrete and steel) bridges and spillways in the municipalities of Opol, Balingasag, Naawan
• Potable water systems were damaged
• Difficulty in access to safe water, thus residents are forced to buy processed and bottled water
• 1 casualty and 1 missing person in the municipality of Talisayan

Total 13 municipalities
3 cities
100 barangays
11, 878 people

Source: Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council of Misamis Oriental, City Disaster Coordinating Council of Cagayan de Oro City, January 12, 2009 report.


Lansingan, Felino P. “Assessing Vulnerability of Urban Areas to Floods for Effective Disaster and Risk Management in Local Government Units.” University of the Philippines Los Banos (Downloaded January 13, 2009,

Provincial Profile of the Province of Misamis Oriental (Downloaded Janaury 13, 2009, )

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