Floods, fire test motorists' patience, enforcers' abilities-A A +A
Thursday, July 21, 2011
CEBU CITY -- Heavy rains caused flooding in some parts of Cebu City late Wednesday afternoon, damaging several houses in Barangay Guadalupe and causing heavy traffic in major roads.
A mother in Sitio Riverside in Guadalupe got the scare of her life when four of her children went missing amid the floods, but barangay captain Michael Gacasan said the kids were later found playing in the floodwater near their neighbor's house.
Traffic on Osmeña Blvd., V. Rama Ave. in Guadalupe and in Capitol area was so heavy that Mayor Michael Rama felt compelled to help man traffic there.
As if that wasn't enough to keep the authorities busy, fire struck a two-storey commercial building Wednesday night on Samson Road, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
City Fire Marshall Aderson Comar said the fire devoured a music lounge and another establishment on the second floor of the building that reportedly belongs to lawyer Bert Suson.
The rain that started Wednesday afternoon was of little help. Instead, it caused flash floods in parts of Cebu and Mandaue cities, which tied up after-office traffic.
The hour-long rain caused floods near the Banawa Elementary School, Horseshoe Drive, lower part of Happy Valley, Sitio Lutaw-Lutaw in Labangon, N. Bacalso Ave., M.J. Cuenco Ave., Sitio Back Pepsi and the Mahiga area.
Floodwaters reached knee level in most areas, but were waist-deep in others.
In Guadalupe, Representative Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) went around the flooded sitios to check the extent of the damage.
Officials of the Banawa Elementary School requested help from the City Fire Department, which in turn sent two fire trucks to the area to pump the floodwater out.
Gacasan said several houses in Sitios Kamanggahan and Riverside were submerged, and some families had to move to safer ground.
In a phone interview Wednesday night, he said they suspect that the dams within the development of Monterrazas de Cebu overflowed, which worsened the flooding in the low-lying areas.
Gacasan said they will ask the Cebu City Disaster Coordinating Council to inspect the area Thursday.
"Grabe gyud ang baha bisag kadali ra niuwan. Nioverflow gyud ang atong drainage kay dali man kayo nidagan ang tubig gikan sa taas. Ugma suroyon nato tanang areas aron Makita nato unsa ang damage, ug ato sad ipatanaw ang mga dams didto sa Monterrazas," he told Sun.Star Cebu Thursday night.
In Mandaue City, A.S. Fortuna Ave. was also heavily flooded, causing heavy traffic in the roads in Barangay Banilad and Archbishop Reyes Ave. in Cebu City.
In Lahug, the authorities' challenge was dealing with a fire that was reported at 6:25 p.m. by Alberto Sarmiento.
Comar said that based on their initial investigation, neighbors saw a spark on the ground floor, then the flames spread throughout the building within minutes.
Firefighters were able to control the flames and keep them from spreading after 10 minutes.
Fire trucks from Cebu City, including the barangay fire brigade, rushed to the scene. Comar said they also asked for assistance from the neighboring cities Talisay and Mandaue City, for fear that the fire would cause great damage in the area.
SFO2 Romero Amantiad, who led the investigation, said they are still trying to confirm what caused the fire, which damaged an estimated P250,000 worth of property.
Several fires struck Cebu City since last week.
The fire that occurred in Punta last Wednesday left two men dead and damaged P354,000 in property.
Last Thursday, a fire gutted two two-storey buildings that housed Wilkris appliance store, Circuitsmart Appliance Center and Sugano Furniture Display Center on Leon Kilat St., taking away at least P750,000 worth of property.
Wednesday night's fire was the tenth fire to hit Cebu in just two weeks. (LCR/JBT/ETB/Sun.Star Davao)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 21, 2011.