'Habagat' rains cause flooding, landslides

MONSOON FLOOD. A woman wades through ankle-deep floodwaters in Sitio Baybayon, Barangay Looc, Mandaue City. Heavy rains since Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, caused flooding in several areas in Cebu. (KATE F. DENOLANG)

FLOODING and landslides hit a dozen barangays in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue as the southwest monsoon or habagat, enhanced by Tropical Storm Leon, dumped up to 34 millimeters (mm) of rain in just 24 hours.

This is equivalent to 170,000 drums or barrels of water within one square kilometer, according to Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan Station weather specialist Netherlen Delfin.

Every one mm of rain is equivalent to 5,000 drums or barrels of rain per square kilometer, Delfin said.

No casualties were reported, but several families were forced to flee their homes after landslides occurred in Barangay Talamban, Cebu City and a creek in Barangay Tingub, Mandaue City overflowed.

Six barangays in Cebu City and six other barangays in Mandaue reported flooding Tuesday night, Sept. 15, until Wednesday morning, Sept. 16, due to the intense monsoon rains.

Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) officer-in-charge Ramil Ayuman said the affected barangays were Lahug, Kalunasan, Busay, Talamban, Guadalupe, and Tisa.

Ayuman said up to eight feet of water inundated three families in Sitio Tambisan in Barangay Tisa. It was the worst flooding to hit the community.


In Barangay Talamban, 11 households in Sitio Cadahuan were affected by a landslide, confirmed Barangay Captain Dario Arcilla.

Arcilla said 54 individuals have vacated the area and are currently staying with relatives.

Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo, chairman of the committee on infrastructure, said the downpour on Tuesday night caused the collapse of a retaining wall in Sitio Cadauhan.

He recommended that the affected residents be relocated. He said even the neighboring houses are no longer safe.

In Barangay Busay, Barangay Captain Maria Christina Famador said a landslide affected one household and a motorcycle.

She said 12 homeowners in the affected area have been provided with a relocation site, but they could not move due to lack of funds.

In Barangay Lahug, Barangay Captain Hazel Ann Empleo said a landslide occurred in Upper Laguerta and Alimaong Road.

No household was affected and the road has been cleared as of Wednesday morning.

In Barangay Kalunasan, Ayuman said around 70 individuals were affected by a landslide.

The affected residents have, however, returned home, he said.

In Barangay Guadalupe, 13 families were affected. They are now staying at the Guadalupe barangay gym.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has directed the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) to provide food for the affected families in the next three days.

Mandaue situation

In Mandaue City, Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office operations head Felix Suico said three families in Sitio Panaghiusa in Barangay Tingub were moved to Tingub Elementary School gym after a nearby creek overflowed at 2 a.m. Wednesday.

The three families went home after the flood subsided Wednesday morning.

Other barangays that experienced flooding were Subangdaku, Tipolo, Banilad, Cabancalan and Paknaan.

In Sitio Riverside A in Barangay Subangdaku, Suico said the residents had to move their belongings to protect these from floodwaters.

Suico said the Butuanon River was still overflowing as of Wednesday, but there was no need to evacuate residents of Barangay Paknaan.

He said they have warned residents, especially those in low-lying and flood-prone areas, to remain vigilant as the heavy rainfall is predicted to continue until Thursday, Sept. 17.

Amount of rain

The Pagasa Mactan Station said it recorded a total of 34 millimeters (mm) of rain from 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, to 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Delfin said rainfall was intense between 8 p.m. of Tuesday until 2 a.m. of Wednesday.

“Dili ra siya katupong sa average rainfall nato in a month. However, from Sept. 1 to Sept. 15 nga rainfall, nakaabot na ta sa 40 percent of expected rainfall for the month,” she said.

She said the rain was directly caused by the habagat, which is the prevailing weather system in the entire Visayas.

She said the tropical storm, although far from the Visayas, has indirectly intensified and enhanced the Habagat.

Pagasa Mactan issued a yellow warning level in Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Southern Leyte and Leyte at 2:11 p.m. on Wednesday.

This means flooding in low-lying areas and landslide in mountainous areas are possible.

The public and the disaster risk reduction and management council concerned were advised to take appropriate actions.

At 1 a.m. Wednesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council sent messages warning of a orange rainfall in Cebu, which means flooding and landslides were possible.

Five hours later, at 6 a.m., the warning was raised to red rainfall, which means severe flooding and landslides. (JJL / KFD / WBS)


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