FLOODED SCHOOL. A school in Datu Montawal, Maguindanao, is submerged in floodwaters following heavy rains Tuesday (Aug. 9, 2022). All the town’s 11 barangays were submerged in floodwaters, prompting the local government to distribute relief packs to some 7,000 affected families in the area. (Photo courtesy of Datu Montawal MDDRO)

COTABATO CITY – More than 7,000 families have been displaced by the flooding that hit the Maguindanao town of Datu Montawal Tuesday.

In a report Wednesday, Datu Montawal municipal disaster officer Balumol Kadiding said most of the flood victims have moved to safer grounds.

“However, many of them are home-based and are just waiting for the water to recede,” Kadiding said, adding that no casualty was reported.

All the town's 11 barangays were flooded after the Kabacan River overflowed due to heavy downpour in Bukidnon and North Cotabato.

Montawal, a town with a population of over 37,300 per 2020 census, is beside the Kabacan River and also near the Malitubog-Maridagao water channels.

Kadiding said flooding has been a recurring problem of Datu Montawal as the town served as a catch basin of river water from upstream or from North Cotabato and Bukidnon. The water flows toward the Maguindanao marshland.

Kaylan Abiden, a resident of Barangay Bulit, told reporters she is accustomed to flooding having experienced numerous inundations throughout the years.

“We have been in this situation since I was a kid,” the 37-year-old Abiden said. “We just stay in our house and wait for the water to recede, it will go away in a day or two.”

Kadiding said ongoing relief operations will cushion the impact of the calamity on affected families.

He said the town disaster council is set to convene anytime to consider recommending the declaration of a state of calamity. (PNA)