SPECIAL GEOGRAPHIC AREA — Newly-organized Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) of the Special Geographic Area (SGA) declared a state of calamity in the entire area due to massive flooding caused by Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).
In a meeting on Thursday, September 21, presided by SGA Development Authority (SGADA) Administrator and SGADRRMC Chairperson Butch Malang, the council adopted a resolution declaring a state of calamity in the 63 barangays comprising the SGA.
According the recent data, massive flooding was reported in 27 barangays affecting 25,946 households or approximately 129,730 individuals, 329 hectares of combined rice, corn fields, and other crops. Affected individuals correspond to around 60.21% of the entire SGA population.
Officially composed of 63 barangays, SGA is a former area or barangays carved out of Cotabato Province and became part of the official territories of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) after a successful plebiscite on February 6, 2019, as provided in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
In a press statement after the meeting, the council is expecting that the remaining low-lying areas of the SGA will also experience flooding in the coming days due to the ITCZ, incoming Southwest Monsoon, and Low Pressure Area (LPA).
Accordingly, data from the Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi) showed that the SGA has been flooded four times this year alone and the recent one is the second most widespread flooding.
The state of calamity declaration is effective from September 21, 2023 until further notice (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)