By Bonita L. Ermac
Salvador, Lanao del Norte – The group from Barangay Pawak councilor Usman Aladan, 21 family members and friends had just finished with mid-day prayers last December 22 at a mosque in Barangay Kalimodan here when they suddenly felt the ground rumbling.
Coming out of the mosque, they were shocked at seeing the torrent of flood that had taken over the road, carrying on its thunderous rampage logs that demolished houses and other structures which were on the way of that deluge.
“Muragnaaymoabotngaeroplano” (as if there was an airplane coming) eventually a huge amout of water flowed down, “tubigsagullapokunanaabot, gasunodangkahoy, pagdasmagnilasabalay, kuyoggihaponangmgabalay” (water first came mixed with mud followed by logs that took down a house and eventually overwhelmed others),” Aladan recalled.
Aladan and nine others opted to stay in the mosque, and went up the roof as they watched in shock as the flood overcame the sacred structure. Mercifully, the flood raged on for only 15 minutes before it eventually ebbed.
“Kung niabot to isakaorashurotgyudangmgatawo” (If it continued for an hour. all of us would be dead),” he said.
But among the members of the group, 12 cast their fate in confronting the flood in a frantic bid to get home and help their families. But according to Aladan, five were swept away by the cascading flood and debris that came their way.
In the barangays of Pawak, Kalimodan and Mindalano. 43 were reported missing.
Thirty-seven were recovered alive, including four who were rescued on Christmas Day. They are AnidahNazrudin, 21, her husband Abu Taratanto, HidayaSokre, 10; and Amir Ampaso, 60,
But six persons remain missing – two from Mindalano and four from Pawak.
Anidah Nazrudin’s 14-year-old brother Junaid was also rescued, and said that what made the flash flood more devastating were the logs that came rushing down with it.
He recalled that he was with his mother, grandmother and siblings when the flood came, and they held on to each other but got separated in the onslaught of the water rush.
“Tabanganuntankoakong mama, walananakonakit-an” ( I would like to help my mother but she was already out of sight), he said, adding that he only survived because he was able to go up a coconut tree.
Anidah has yet to see his mother, who he recalled exclaiming: “Allah Wakbar (God is great)!” seconds before he lost hold of her as she was washed away by the heavy torrent of flood and logs.
Two out of five puroks in barangay Mindalano were severely affected. More than ten houses were halfly-buried in purok one (1) while purok two was totally washed out leaving the area where before has eighty houses more now left with big rocks, logs and uprooted trees.
As of December 26, Tubodwas reported to have sustained has sustained damage amounting to P28 million, and reported 29 fatalities, two of them still unidentified.
Sixteen remain missing.
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