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The Devastation in Pansur and Mindalano

by digital last modified Jan 30, 2018 09:11 AM

The villages of Pansur and Mindalano, in the municipality of Salvador, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao were devastated by Typhoon VINTA last December 22, 2017.

The Devastation in Pansur and Mindalano


The villages of Pansur and Mindalano, in the municipality of  Salvador, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao were devastated by  Typhoon VINTA last December 22, 2017. 


The heavy rains brought by the typhoon resulted in a flash flood.  The river overflowed its banks and logs, huge boulders, uprooted trees and mud flowed down the mountain destroying everything in its path: people and all their belongings, domestic animals, houses, and crops in the fields.

A total of thirty-nine (39) bodies were recovered of people who were swept away in the flood, including children, adults and elderly.  As of this writing, six people are still missing according to the reports.

The Columban Missionaries have served the people in the parishes of Tubod and Salvador and other parishes in the diocese of Iligan for many years.

The villages (barrio) of Pansur and Mindalano are situated in the mountains and access is difficult over rough roads.  Most of the residents are Muslims.  The people in the village rely on agriculture, growing bananas, coconuts, corn and other root crops.


A mosque in the area destroyed by the typhoon

On January 5, 2018, Pedaling to Live and Green Shelter staff, Virgenia Vidad (program manager) and other volunteers, along with the Department of Agriculture staff from the Municipality of Salvador, organized a visit to Pansur and Mindalano.  During their visit, it was discovered that a total of 108 families had lost their properties including their homes, crops and animals. 


Virgenia Vidad, program manager of Pedaling to Live and Green Shelter, visiting the evacuation site

Many of those flood victims talked also about the loss of members of their families in the flood.  In the meantime, they are living with their relatives.  Some have started to rebuild their new homes using the logs that have been carried down from the mountains by the flood.

Talking with the flood victims it is easy to see that many have been traumatized by the horrific experience. This is especially true among the small children who lost their parents and siblings.

We spoke to Ms. Omaida Tawantawan, Barangay Chairperson of Pansur, and                Mr. Samsodin Said, Barangay Chairman of Mindalano, both of whom are survivors.  They shared that this is the first tragedy of this kind in their area.  It has destroyed their community. They are all in deep shock.  All the families have horrific stories to tell. 

After visiting the evacuation site, we visited the disaster area which is a forty minute walk from the evacuation center.  According to the people, the typhoon dumped a huge amount of rain in the mountains above the village causing landslides of huge boulders, logs, mud and uprooted trees that flowed down and destroyed everything in the village, taking many lives. 



A major reason for the calamity is the lack of forest cover in the surrounding mountains. In the 1970’s and 1980’s indiscriminate logging of the forest without any replanting was carried out by logging companies.  The logging companies are long gone now, but the land and its people are still suffering from effects of their destructive activities. 

Typhoon “VINTA” has caused damage all over Mindanao.  Hundreds of lives have been lost and thousands are homeless and huge damage was caused to crops and people’s livelihoods.  Typhoons, such as “VINTA”, are more common now and more severe than before.  The effects of Climate Change are clearly to be seen in the destruction caused by Typhoon Vinta and other such typhoons.



The government agencies are doing what they can with limited resources.  Help is still needed.  Housing materials, food, clothes and farm implements are in short supply.

One thing is certain it will take a long time for the people who survived the typhoon to rebuild their shattered lives again



Prepared by:

Oliver McCrossan

Virgenia O. Vidad


January 5, 2018, Ozamiz City, Philippines

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