Above normal

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Sunday, August 31, 2014


THE state weather bureau has recorded above normal rainfall amount in Cebu this month.

As of last Friday, the Pagasa Mactan, Cebu Station registered 190 millimeters in rainfall, way above the normal amount of 143.5 millimeters for the whole month of August.

Jhomar Eclarino, weather specialist at Pagasa, said the normal rainfall value represents the average rainfall amounts for August from 1981 to 2010.

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Pagasa stands for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Heavy rains last Thursday caused massive flooding in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu. The three-hour rain caused the Mahiga Creek to overflow. A few major roads were inundated, leaving hundreds of motorists and commuters stranded.

A 16-year-old boy from Barangay Pasil, Cebu City drowned after he went swimming in the Guadalupe River during Thursday’s downpour. A landslide also occurred in Talisay City, but no one was reported hurt.

Taking precautions

Eclarino cautioned local government units as thunderstorms similar to last Thursday’s may still occur in the coming weeks.

He said thunderstorms occur more often in the months of July, August and September, which fall under the wet season. Thunderstorms usually occur in the afternoon and evening.

“We are advising the public to take precautions,” he told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Eclarino said three to four tropical cyclones normally enter the country in September.

At 4 a.m. yesterday, Pagasa spotted a low-pressure area at 300 kilometers west of Ambulong, Batangas. But Eclarino said it will not bring bad weather over Cebu.

Pagasa forecast sunny weather in Metro Cebu and the rest of the province today.

In another development, Lourdes Nadela, 67, was asked by rescue personnel from the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CCDRRMO) to temporarily move out of her house after flood water in the area reached shoulder level last Thursday.

Nadela of Sitio San Isidro in Barangay Mabolo opted to stay on the second floor of her house rather than take temporary shelter in areas identified by authorities as safer.

Thursday rescue

“Naanad nami sa baha unya kung biyaan namo ang balay basin makahigayon sad ang kawatan (We’re used to the flood and if we leave the house we might be burglarized),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

Her house is a block away from the Mabolo River. She has resided in the area for more than 20 years.

Late last Thursday, heavy downpour caused flooding in several places in Cebu City, including Barangay Mabolo, leaving commuters and motorists stranded for several hours.

Mabolo barangay officials headed by Barangay Captain Rey Ompoc have warned residents to vacate when something similar happens again.

That day, CCDRRMO received calls for help from residents in Barangay Mabolo, particularly from Sitios Magtalisay and Sindulan, where the disaster team rescued some individuals after the Mahiga Creek overflowed.

Robert Dolormente, 60, of Sitio Magtalisay, said flood waters reached five feet high.

“Wa mi mobalhin kay naanad nami pero kato nga baha ang pinaka-taas nga among nasuwayan (We didn’t leave because we’re used to floods but last Thursday’s was the highest we’ve seen the water rise),” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

Robert, who has lived in the sitio all his life, said that although he and his wife Nora were scared, they just moved to the second floor of their house.

Robert, who lives on the riverbank, blamed clogged canals and drainage for the high water level.

“Wa nama’y kasudlan ang tubig maong nagbaha na lang (The water has nowhere to go),” he said.

He said the City Government should dredge the Mabolo Creek on a regular basis.

He said the City used to dredge the waterway every month.

He said the Mahiga Creek, which connects to the Mabolo River, both overflowed last Thursday, resulting in water inundating the North Reclamation Area.

Robert and Nadela said they hope the City will pay attention to maintaining, repairing and constructing better a drainage system to prevent the same incident from happening again. (RSB/RVC)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 31, 2014.

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