Friday, January 2, 2009

Big Flood Going On In Cagayan De Oro

After a night of heavy rain, we woke up to this horrific scene: Houses being washed away, and people scrambling to higher ground. The view from my house really gives a front row seat to this awful happening. You can see further up and down the valley as well that the flooding is vast and damaging. I can hear screaming from up here on the hill, but it sounds like little kids.

The first photo is a collage of the flood as seen from the balcony of my house.
The second shows some people under a tree on what I think is a pickup truck. If that is the high ground, and the water is knee-deep, the flat flood plain that we are looking at probably has few places deeper than an adult's waist, I would imagine. But the water is moving very fast... and wading through it is a bad idea.
Here is a neighborhood right on the banks of the river, with people sitting on their rooftops. Several wooden houses from here have already been washed downstream. The flooding covers the entire valley floor. Most people seem to be congregating at a nearby basketball court, where it looks like a truck is helping move people to safety.

Just a short hour later, and the water has already gone down considerably. It also shows the people under the tree getting rescued. It also reveals that it wasn't a small pickup truck that they were clambered up on, but a rather tall tractor, meaning that the water was indeed much, much deeper than I speculated... definitely 2 meters deep in places.Well, I'll wait for the news reports to see what the damage was, and post links as an update later.


Here is an AFP story (thankfully, no casualties reported):
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (AFP) - About 5,000 families in the southern Philippines have been displaced by flash floods and large waves spawned by heavy rains, officials said Saturday.

Over a hundred houses have been destroyed and many people are fleeing their homes in the face of rising waters in the northern part of the southern island of Mindanao, civil defence officials said.

Regional civil defence director Carmelito Lupo said that most of those whose homes were destroyed were from Cagayan de Oro city but officials were still trying to get information on the situation in the surrounding areas.

Local officials in Cagayan de Oro said that over 2,000 families had to be evacuated to basketball courts due to rising waters on river banks.

Evacuations were also under way in nearby Ginoog City and other areas where flash floods have been reported, said provincial officials.

Local officials said two children, aged one and two, were narrowly rescued from the floods but no casualties had been reported yet.
(Thank you AFP for allowing me to copy and paste this article's text in its entirety.)


Tom N said...

Does it flood very often in Cagayan de Oro? It seems you made a good choice to live off the valley floor.

Jungle Jil said...

Small flooding is very common, as waste water systems aren't very good. This flooding is very notable though.

Mudslides are actually the more common natural disaster in this part of The Philippines. (I may wake up one day down there on the valley floor if I'm unlucky!)

MissAnj said...

I saw the flood this morning. Tragic.

Jouie said...

hi, i was wondering.. where do you live? i'm in cebu and my friend just got a text message from her family about the flood. she's from gusa (thankfully in villa ernesto where there wasn't any flood damage) and people who survived the flood are being asked to evacuate in case the dike collapses..i hope you're heading for safety as well if you're anywhere near said dike.

anyway, we're terribly grateful for the pics on what would have been an entire day of worrying about the flood til we got confirmation from the evening news..



SaNaSaNz said...

You're very lucky to live on higher ground. It's not normal for floods like this to hit us. Where is your location Jil? We have been introduced at spooks by Ron and Eve before, also met your wife before your wedding :)

Jungle Jil said...

I live in Camilla homes, on the bluff overlooking the river, a couple hundred feet up.

Jouie: Are there dikes in Cagayan anywhere? I don't think there are. Not that I've ever seen, anyway. At least on the Cagayan River. It's a fairly fast river, so it cuts pretty deep, especially around downtown.

Anonymous said...

Scary stuff I will pray for your familys safety Jil and the neighbors stay dry!

from Jakal

Jungle Jil said...

Jakal, thanks for your prayers, but the water receded long ago. Basically, an hour after the photo of the people being rescued from the tractor was taken, the land was almost completely drained and the river was back within its banks.

charish said...

Good to hear you are in a safe area. It is amazing what a little rain can do to an area.

job robinson said...

Hi! I'm using some of your photos about the flood for my blog.I hope it's ok. Thanks!

Jungle Jil said...


Yes you may use my photo, and thank you in advance for credit and linking.

job robinson said...

thanks sir! here are the links:

Angela AMP said...

Since Jan 3 the city experienced more flooding and more people had to be evacuated since their homes had been destroyed. Last night the rain and winds were very scary. I bet more flooding and landslides occurred. When will this wrath of nature ever stop? :(