Street floods, landslides hit Cebu

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Friday, August 29, 2014


A 16-YEAR-OLD boy was reported missing in Sitio Mahayahay in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City after he went swimming during the downpour late Thursday afternoon.

The heavy rains caused rivers to overflow and flooded many areas in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue, which resulted in a monstrous traffic that left commuters and motorists stranded on the road.

At least four landslides were also reported in Cebu City’s mountain barangays.

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Early Thursday morning, a landslide also occurred in Barangay Manipis in Talisay City. It damaged one house.

The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CCDRRMC) identified the missing person in Pasil as Rowen Abellaneda of Barangay Sawang Calero. He had gone swimming with his three friends when it started raining around 4 p.m.

Barangay officials of Pasil reported the incident to the City’s Command and Control Center (C3), which immediately sent out a rescue team.

The three companions of Abellaneda were rescued by CCDRRMC and other rescuers from the Bureau of Fire Protection.

As of 11 p.m., Councilor Dave Tumulak said search and rescue operations were still ongoing.

Tumulak,who also heads CCDRRMC, said rescuers already searched the sea waters off Pasil but failed to find Abellanada.

“He may have been swept away by the current due to the heavy rain,” he said.

CCDRRMC also rescued in Barangay Apas an eight-year-old boy from Sitio Calvary, who was also swept by the current in the river.

Eduardo Benting, who was on his way home from school, had to cross a river to reach his house.

“He’s lucky to have been able to hang on to a boulder. Otherwise, he would have drowned,” Tumulak said.

The downpour left commuters and motorists who were on their way home from school or work stranded after major roads in Cebu City, particularly Colon St., M.J. Cuenco Ave., Sanciangko St., and V.Gullas St., among others, were flooded.

Ten Kaoshioung buses were dispatched in major thoroughfares last night to ferry the stranded passengers.

At the North Reclamation Area, private and public vehicles were forced to stop after the flood water rose to knee level.

The flood, though, subsided a few hours after the downpour, said Tumulak.

Residents of Sitios Sindulan and Magtalisay in Barangay Mabolo were also rescued and had to evacuate after the Mahiga River overflowed.

“For their safety, they called the disaster office and asked for assistance because some of them, especially the children, found it difficult to cross to safer ground,” Tumulak said.

CCDRMC deployed rescuers and rubber boats to flooded areas.

In the mountain village of Sapangdaku, interior roads of Sitio Lupa and St. Martin Heights were covered with stones and soil when a landslide occurred after the heavy rain. A tree was uprooted.

A road in Barangay Malubog leading to Barangay Babag was also affected by a landslide.

Since the City’s heavy equipment are already stationed in the mountain barangays, Tumulak said the roads were immediately cleared of debris.

Mandaue

In Mandaue City, floodwater in some areas in Barangays Subangdaku and Banilad was knee-deep.

A tornado was also spotted between Barangays Mantuyong and Guizo, but it did not make landfall. Residents noticed that strong winds lifted paper and other light materials like plastics and were seen hovering over houses.

Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Felix Suico said a team was on-standby in Sitio Nawanaw in Subangdaku when the Mahiga Creek overflowed.

He said they immediately activated their rescue teams to monitor the situation after learning that the houses of the residents were flooded. They stayed in the area in case an evacuation would be needed.

Suico said the drainage in the area was recently rehabilitated, but because the Mahiga Creek overflowed, the area got flooded.

The residents of Sitio Nawanaw are among those who will be relocated to the relocation site in Barangay Paknaan since they are living in a danger zone.

Residents of A.S. Fortuna Street in Barangay Banilad found themselves in the same situation.

Although the drainage in the area has been improved, the downpour was so heavy that the drainage system could not hold the water, Suico said.

The heavy rains resulted in heavy traffic on E.O. Perez St. and Ouano Avenue at North Reclamation Area, near SM City Cebu.

Talisay

Early yesterday morning, a massive landslide almost destroyed a house and stalled traffic in the mountain barangay of Manipis in Talisay.

Because of the incident, the Talisay City Government plans to relocate about 100 residents living near the cliff in Manipis due to danger caused by landslides there.

Vince Monterde, Talisay City’s local disaster risk reduction and management (LDRRM) officer, said the landslide occurred at around 6 a.m. yesterday in Sitio Camp 6.

About 20 to 30 truckload of loose earth and rock covered a portion of the Toledo Wharf Access Road, rendering the road impassable.

Monterde said that a huge boulder even damaged a house owned by the family of Julieta Hipolan.

Hipolan, 38, was eating with her family when the boulder suddenly hit their front porch. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Aside from Hipolan’s house, about 99 other families whose houses stand on the side of the Toledo Wharf Access Road in Manipis, are in danger of being affected by landslides, says Monterde.

Monterde recommended to Talisay City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes to immediately evacuate the families living in the area.

But some residents living near the danger zone refused to leave their homes because of their livelihood.

Monterde said the City will look for a temporary relocation site for the affected residents.

City Councilor Danilo Caballero, who was in Manipis after the landslide, said he immediately instructed QM Builders to clear the area of the debris.

QM Builders was contracted by the Department of Public Works and Highways for the road widening works at the Toledo Wharf Access Road since last year.

The same contractor has been accused by residents in the area for contributing to the landslides occurred there.

Caballero said that the contractor has been clearing debris since yesterday morning. They expect the road to be passable today. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2014.

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