Waves hit Talisay

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


ABOUT 138 families living in seven coastal barangays in Talisay City were affected after huge waves hit their homes starting at dawn yesterday.

Gusts caused by typhoon Gener, which is projected to leave the country on Thursday afternoon, also toppled trees that hit a house and a motorboat in Alcoy town, Cebu Province.

The typhoon will hover over Batanes today, but it will also strengthen the southwest monsoon, and that’s what is causing rains and winds over Luzon and Visayas.

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At 3 a.m. yesterday, residents living near the seaside in Barangays Poblacion, Biasong, Tanke, Dumlog, Pooc, Cansojong and San Roque in Talisay were jolted awake when huge waves struck their houses.

Of the seven barangays, Barangay Poblacion had it worst.

Residents of Sitios Mahayahay-Litmon, Kalubihan, YMCA, Psalm and Asan were forced to transfer to higher areas.

Bernabe Remedio, 67, a resident of Sitio Kalubihan, said he was sleeping with his family, when he suddenly woke up and noticed that water was coming into their small hut.

Waves at least 1.7 meters high then struck the house, removing much of its wooden
foundation.

High tide

Remedio, a jeepney driver, had to skip work yesterday to help his family fix their home. He said that the Talisay City Government had stopped the seawall project that was supposed to reach their sitio.

Felipa Solana, Talisay City Social Welfare Department (CSWD) head, said that in Barangay Poblacion, about 76 houses were damaged. Two were destroyed.

Also, one motorized pumpboat was destroyed, while two paddle-powered fishing boats were damaged.

Barangay Poblacion Captain Teodoro Belleza told reporters yesterday that officials urged the residents in the four sitios to prepare for the worst, with high tide coming in.

He said they also prepared the evacuation center in case stronger waves hit the community again.

For now, food and other emergency supplies were made available.

Weather bureau officials in Cebu said the waves were caused by the “habagat” or southwest monsoon, which Gener’s movement in the north made stronger.

Thursday

Alice Canasa of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said a gale warning was issued for all seacraft and those living in coastal areas.

Typhoon Signal No. 1 was raised in the provinces of Isabela, Kalinga and Apayao, while Signal No. 2 is up in Cagayan and in the Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands. Signal No. 3 is in effect in Basco, Batanes.

Canasa said that Gener is expected to make its exit by Thursday afternoon, unless it makes a sudden change of direction and speed.

In the coastal village of Daan-Lungsod, Alcoy town in Cebu a house and a motorboat were pinned by fallen coconut trees last Saturday, also due to strong winds brought by tropical storm Gener.

Insp. Arvi Arbuiz, the town’s police chief, said no one was injured and the affected residents were referred to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7.

The house owner, Arnulfo Tampus, told police he and his family were sleeping when a loud thud awakened them.

Trees

The 41-year-old fisherman said a tree dropped into their roof and damaged an estimated P10,000 worth of property.

Nearby, a motorboat used for fishing didn’t stand a chance against Gener’s rough gusts, after a tree also fell on top of it.

Inspt. Arbuiz, in a phone interview, said they are patrolling the town to look for trees that might easily break during bad weather.

“We will immediately warn those nearby and let them evacuate for safety,” he said.

Social Welfare Officer 1 Rosa Vida Diva of DSWD 7 told Sun.Star Cebu they will assist the affected families.

Gener’s winds also didn’t spare some power lines, affecting supply to some wells of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD).

Low pressure to no water was experienced in Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

Protection

MCWD’s four wells in Barangay San Vicente, Liloan couldn’t operate because of the low voltage. The lack of power supply also reportedly immobilized wells in Barangays Talamban and Banilad in Cebu City.

In Barangay Dumlog, Talisay City the huge waves damaged six houses, while seawater entered 10 others.

Barangay officials in Dumlog were concerned that a kilometer-long seawall that protects residents from sea surges might not bear the assault.

Dumlog Barangay Chief and Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Charles Basillote said the waves yesterday destroyed a portion of the seawall that guards Sitios Litmon and Baybay.

The seawall was a project of the Talisay City Government, the Cebu Provincial government and Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas that started in 2007 and ended in 2010.

Basillote said that if the seawall is not fixed immediately, the road leading toward the two sitios might collapse if struck by big waves.

Readiness

Aside from Poblacion and Dumlog, Barangay Tanke has one house that was damaged. In Barangay Cansojong, 11 houses were destroyed while eight others were damaged.

In Barangay San Roque, 10 houses were reportedly breached by waves.

For now, Barangays Pooc and Biasong are still being monitored by the authorities.

After hearing about the incident, Talisay City Administrator Richel Bacaltos immediately called an emergency meeting of the Talisay City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (TCDRRMC) yesterday afternoon.

Bacaltos, who also chairs the TCDRRMC, instructed the affected barangays to monitor within the next 24 hours. He also instructed them to prepare their evacuation centers.

He asked the Talisay City Rescue Emergency Assistance Team (TREAT) to prepare for any emergency. Bacaltos also ordered the CSWD to provide relief goods to affected families and the Talisay City Engineering Department to assess the damage. (With DSM)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 31, 2012.

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