Cebu mayor cuts class short, calls for drainage funds

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

(Courtesy: Cebu City Public Information Office)


CEBU CITY (Updated) - Classes in all elementary and secondary schools in Cebu City were suspended past noon Monday because of the bad weather brought by a low-pressure area (LPA).

Mayor Michael Rama announced the cancellation of classes as recommended by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) Mactan Chief Oscar Tabada.

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The state weather bureau chief told Rama that rains may affect the city the whole day, prompting the mayor to suspend classes in all public and private schools.

“Effective immediately after this announcement, classes should be suspended until further notice,” Rama said.

By 3 p.m. Monday, the City deployed 10 buses to major public utility vehicle routes to transport stranded commuters. With flooding expected as a result of the rains, Rama reiterated the need to implement the pending flood control projects amounting to P252 million.

“I am going to present the different drainage projects that were not yet approved. We need to know what they (City Council) are doing now to realize these projects,” he said.

Low-pressure area

Councilor Dave Tumulak, who heads the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said the LPA was spotted near Eastern Samar Monday.

As early as 6 a.m. Monday, he alerted all barangays, particularly those in the upland area, and asked the officials to monitor landslides that may occur during the heavy downpour.

Tumulak also asked barangay officials to evacuate their constituents if necessary.

Since last Thursday, the City’s Command and Control Center (C3) recorded seven landslides in five mountain barangays.

Past noon Monday, soil and stones blocked a portion of the road in Sitio Lanipaw in Barangay Sapangdaku but barangay personnel immediately cleared the area.

It was already the third landslide that occurred in the barangay.

Landslide

Heavy rains also caused a landslide near the site of a road widening project in Barangay Obo in Dalaguete town past 9 p.m. last Sunday.

No one was reported hurt in the incident, Provincial Information Officer Ethel Natera said.

“The soil in the area reportedly became loose due to the road widening project.

Fortunately, there were no reported casualties,” she told reporters Monday.

Natera said that the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (LDRRMC) is monitoring the area and has placed signs to warn the public about the landslide.

The road in Sitio Paling-Paling was impassable for some time due to the debris, but municipal workers and the contractor managed to clear the area immediately after the incident.

Municipal Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Officer (MDRRMO) Junrey Tenefrancia said the contractor of the road widening project proceeded to the area and used its heavy equipment to remove the debris.

The Department of Public Works and Highways also sent personnel to the site to help ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

Ready to go

Meanwhile, the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) directed barangay disaster responders to stay alert as rains may continue in the next few days.

Felix Suico, head of CDRRMO, said that barangay officials are closely monitoring flood-prone and landslide-prone areas in the city.

Barangays vulnerable to flood include Subangdaku, Guizo, Tipolo and Banilad. Landslide-prone areas have been identified in Tawason, Canduman, Tingub, Casuntingan and Tabok.

“We have instructed barangay captains to get ready for possible evacuations,” Suico told Sun.Star Cebu.

Classes in Mandaue were not suspended yesterday despite the bad weather.

Suico said that the Bantay Mandaue Command Center personnel are monitoring the low-pressure area around the clock and that vehicles needed for evacuation were on standby at the center yesterday. (Rosedelyn S. Catalan, USJ-R Mass Com Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2014.

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