As promised, here are my personal UPDATED illustrative maps of the flashflood brought about by Typhoon Sendong (international codename – Washi) which affected the riverside communities in Cagayan de Oro City on the early hours of December 17, 2011.

Shown above is the map of the city proper and adjoining areas of Carmen, Kauswagan and Consolacion. Again, the light blue color indicates the normal width and flow of the river. The green areas show the extent of the flood and the areas inundated at the height of the storm. The most significant occurrence brought about by the flood is that the flood submerged the whole Burgos Street and flood levels almost reached Capistrano Street. Witnesses said the highest level reached the foot of the new Licoan Flyover.

Below is the map upstream of the river showing hard-hit areas of Carmen, Macasandig and Balulang. These areas are predominantly densely-populated residesntial communities. Notably, Macasandig and Balulang areas are largely home to middle to upper middle-income class of the society with presence of exclusive residential subsivisions.

Here is my comparative map between the 2009 and 2011 flood events showing the same areas. For information, in January 2009, there was no storm but merely abnormal heavy rainfall attributed to the “tail end of the cold front” as termed by PAG-ASA. The red colored areas indicate the 2009 flood. Recent history states that the red areas have been known to be flood prone including Isla de Oro and Consolacion. Most residents in these areas are alreasy used to evacuation during floods. Usually, in previous years, they are relocated at the City Tourism Hall. The residents in the green areas are the ones who are not used to flooding and were affected by Sendong. A major difference between 2009 and 2011 is that two years ago, the rains fell for several hours which began from early morning and poured non-stop which contributed to the steady rise of the river. Rain also was concentrated on the city. Hence, there were still enough time for authorities to evacuate the residents. In 2011, rains fell in Bukidnon which drained into the tributaries of Cagayan de Oro River. The Typhoon reached the city at about past midnight when people were now probably fast asleep from weekend Christmas parties. Except for the red areas in the map, residents in the green areas are used to just sleep over and let the storm pass through over night. But what happened was a flash – a flashflood indeed. There was no time to evacuate. Only the alert mind could have saved themselves from the rampaging waters with mud.

In the map below, the concrete wall at the back of St. Augustine Cathedral helped prevent the flood from entering the city proper. The floodwaters smashed up on the church’s protected wall, bounced off the dike and smashed the Carmen side opposite the church.

December 2011 was the first time in my life that the city was hit by the eye of a storm. People particularly in Balulang areas didn’t expect the flood and so are the people in Tibasak and Tambo in Macasandig, and Macanhan in Carmen. The level of the flood breached the crest of the protected dikes along the river.

Now, cost of real properties in Tibasak and Balulang have gone down significantly and most residents in these area have relocated in higher grounds, in their relatives, apartments, other subdivisions and the tent cities established.

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