Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Cebu braces for Samuel

THE Mines and Geosciences Burea (MGB) 7 has identified 50 barangays in three towns in the western part of Cebu Province that are prone to flooding and landslide.

Ma. Elena Lupo, MGB 7 supervising geologist, said their Central Office came up with a list of flood-prone and landslide-prone areas nationwide that might be affected by tropical depression Samuel, which is expected to make landfall in Cebu at dawn on Wednesday, Nov. 21.

In Cebu, the advisory listed these areas as Barangays Olivo, Poblacion and Tabunok in Tabuelan; Barangays Bago, Lunas, New Bago, Saksak, Sta. Lucia, Sta. Rita and Tubigagmanok in Asturias; and Barangays Alegria, Antipolo, Apalan, Bagasawe, Bakyawan, Barangay I to VIII, Caridad, Carmelo, Cogon, Colonia, Daan Lungsod, Fortaliza, Ga-ang, Gimama-A, Jagbuaya, Kabkaban, Kagba-o, Kansi, Libo, Lusong, Macupa, Mag-Alwa, Mag-Antoy, Mag-Atubang, Maghan-Ay, Mangga, Marmol, Molobolo, Putat, San Juan, Santo Niño, Sumon and Tominjao in Tuburan.

Alfredo Quiblat Jr., officer-in-charge of weather bureau Pagasa, said that based on their forecast weather analysis model, Cebu will experience moderate to heavy rains starting on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

“So let’s be prepared because based on our model, Samuel will bring moderate to heavy rains,” he said.

Lupo warned that the rainfall might trigger another earth movement at landslide-affected areas in the City of Naga.

“If the rains are moderate, the chances of boulders falling are minimal. But if the areas experience heavy rainfall, then that’s what we’re worried about,” Lupo said in Cebuano.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) urged local government units (LGUs) to immediately conduct preemptive evacuation as Samuel approaches.

Baltazar Tribunalo, PDRRMO head, said they are on blue alert, meaning all personnel are on standby in case of sudden incidents related to the storm.

Aside from the PDRRMO, all disaster offices in the province have also been requested to be on standby.

Mark Supatan, Asturias disaster officer, said they are closely monitoring areas that are highly susceptible to flooding, including the Combado and Guinabasan Rivers that might overflow in case of heavy rains and result in flashfloods.

However, he admitted that they have not evacuated anyone as they are monitoring the storm’s progress.

Island towns have also started informing residents about Samuel’s possible harmful effects.

In Bantayan’s official Facebook page, the town’s local disaster office issued reminders to local fishermen and boat owners not to go out to sea because of strong waves and winds that Samuel might generate.

Bantayan’s neighbor, Sta. Fe, also reminded barangay chiefs to inform constituents about the dangers of leaving the island while the storm is ongoing.

Its heavy equipment and vehicles are ready to respond to untoward incidents. The Municipal Government assured that evacuation centers are ready in case the need arises.

The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council also advised the local disaster risk reduction committees of the 80 barangays to monitor the situation in their areas.

City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Chief Nagiel Bañacia said they are also on blue alert.

“Also, since yesterday (Nov. 18), all barangays were already directed to activate their disaster risk reduction committee. Specifically in Buhisan, we reminded them to evacuate residents should the need arise,” he said.

Last Oct. 22, the MGB 7 submitted a landslide threat advisory to Buhisan, urging residents of Sitio Sandayong to be extra careful because heavy rains might wash down rocks from the top of the mountain, where a huge crack is being monitored.

At least 50 families need to be relocated.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, no areas in Cebu City were issued an evacuation order.

The City Government will deploy five teams that will operate heavy equipment in the mountain barangays, especially in landslide-prone areas, and in flood-prone areas in urban barangays.

Advertising companies were requested to remove tarpaulins on their billboards to prevent untoward incidents.

“We’re strengthening our disaster preparedness plan because our rule here in the city is to have zero casualty,” Bañacia said. (from SCG of SuperBalita Cebu, JKV with a report from RTF)


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