AT LEAST eight local government units (LGUs) declared the suspension of all forms of classes—limited in-person or online—in all levels on Monday, April 11, 2022 due to Tropical Storm Agaton (Megi).
These are the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Danao, Talisay and Carcar, and the municipality of Daanbantayan.
The Cebu Provincial Government also ordered the suspension of classes in all levels in the province on Monday. Cebu Province excludes the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.
The cities of Cebu, Talisay and Danao also suspended work in government offices. Cebu City also ordered the suspension of work in private companies but the business process outsourcing firms may continue to operate as long as they ensure the safety of their workers.
Due to incessant rains, landslides occurred in Cebu City and Balamban while a sea vessel capsized in Camotes on Sunday. In Cebu City, Mayor Michael Rama declared a “state of calamity” on Sunday, April 10 due to the persistent rainfall brought about by Agaton, and the City evacuated residents living near the rivers.
According to its Tropical Cyclone Bulletin No. 14 issued at 8 p.m., 22 LGUs in Cebu were placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 1 as Tropical Storm (TS) Agaton (Megi) continues to maintain its strength on Sunday, April 10, 2022.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) placed the municipalities of Bantayan, Madridejos, Santa Fe, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Tabogon, Borbon, Tabuelan, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Compostela, Liloan, Tuburan and Asturias and the cities of Bogo and Danao under TCWS No. 1.
Also placed under TCWS No. 1 were the entire Camotes Islands (municipalities of San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar).
On Sunday afternoon, a roll-on roll-off (RoRo) vessel carrying 14 crew members capsized while it was docked at Consuelo Port in San Francisco. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Cebu confirmed that the ship, m/v Mika Mari 1 of Jomalia Shipping Lines capsized, at 1:30 p.m.
A strong gust of wind and sea wind caused the sea vessel to capsize. M/v Mika Mari’s crew members were safe after the incident.
The ship had no passengers onboard, but it had an estimated 5,430 liters of diesel fuel oil and 68 liters of lube oil. The PCG still has to determine whether there is an oil spill in the area.
According to the Pagasa, strong winds are prevailing or expected in the said localities within the next 36 hours.
The center of the storm was spotted as of 4 p.m. of Sunday over the coastal waters off Lawaan in Eastern Samar.
Agaton packs a maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 105 kilometers per hour, said Quiblat.
Pagasa Visayas Weather Bureau Chief Al Quiblat told SunStar Cebu Sunday, that the storm is currently following a slow westward movement.
Quiblat said that light to moderate with occasional heavy rainfall will persist in Cebu on Monday until Tuesday, April 12.
The storm is then expected to further weaken as it moves eastwards on Wednesday, April 13, said Quiblat.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Sunday, that 38,399 families of 45,588 persons in 106 barangays were affected by the heavy rain showers that resulted in flooding because of the storm.
There are around 67 areas in the country that were flooded due to Agaton, the NDRRMC said.
It said 3,228 families of 11,264 individuals are currently housed in evacuation centers in Northern Mindanao, Davao, Caraga and Bangsamoro regions.
The national agency also added that they are validating the cases of one fatality and one missing person amid the onslaught of Agaton.
In Cebu City, multiple landslides and toppled trees were recorded in three mountain barangays due to the continuous moderate to heavy rainfall on Sunday, April 10, 2022.
Gerardo Carillo, head of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CDRRMO), said teams were deployed to clear the barangays from obstructions.
The landslides happened in Barangays Pamutan, Bonbon, and Busay.
Carillo added that personnel from the CDRRMO were also monitoring the water level of rivers and tributaries within the city.
Families living near rivers and mountain slopes were evacuated, Carillo said.
At least 10 families who were affected by the cancellation of trips and got stranded in the port were assisted by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Meals and temporary shelter were provided to the affected individuals, said Carillo.
In Barangay Mabolo, five houses have been cleared of their residents as it was declared by the CDRRMO as a danger zone due to the possible flooding in the area.
Situation in other LGUs
A landslide occurred between the boundary of Barangays Sunog and Cansomoroy in the town of Balamban. A backhoe was deployed in the area to clear the road.
In Daanbantayan, Mayor Sun Shimura ordered the suspension of classes for both public and private elementary and secondary schools on Monday, April 11, 2022.
Shimura said this includes all forms of classes in the town such as the limited face-to-face classes and blended learning.
The mayor also ordered the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) to conduct preemptive evacuation for residents living in coastal areas on Sunday evening.
Shimura said evacuees will be temporarily housed in schools.
The mayor made the decision after they experienced strong winds and heavy rains in the town as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Danao City Government also suspended its work in its offices, vaccination drive and classes.
Students and teachers were advised to refrain from traveling amid the possibility of flooding, landslides, as well as slippery roads.
Emergency frontliners, however, should report to work to monitor the areas that are prone to flood and landslide in the mountain and coastal barangays.
For workers in private companies, the discretion to suspend their work would depend on the management but Mayor Ramon Durano III said they should also consider the security of their employees and their respective families as well.
Medellin Mayor Benjun Mondigo had not imposed a forced evacuation on residents as of 5:34 p.m. Mondigo, however, said they would monitor their LGU for possible flooding.
Personnel from the Mandaue City DRRMO and City Social Welfare and Services (CSWS) have also prepared their equipment and food packs for possible evacuation of residents.
Lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes, however, said that there was no forced evacuation of residents living near rivers undertaken as of 2:27 p.m. as water level was not yet critical.
CDRRMO also conducted roving operations in the barangays near Butuanon River and Mahiga Creek and coastal areas as these are flood-prone areas and danger zones in the city.
Lapu-Lapu City DRRMO chief Nagiel Bañacia, for his part, said there is no life threatening areas in the city since they do not have rivers or landslides prone areas. (IRT, TPM, MKG, ANV)