CLASSES in Cebu City will continue this week as there will be no threat of typhoon in the area in the coming days, according to Mayor Michael Rama. But classes in six other areas in the province have been suspended.
Rama’s announcement came after Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) head Harold Alcontin informed him that super typhoon Mawar (local name: Betty), will only enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday, May 27, or Sunday, May 28, 2023.
However, the Cebu City Government is preparing for any event that might occur when the typhoon strikes Cagayan Valley, Babuyan and Batanes Islands in northern Luzon on Monday, May 29 based on the satellite imagery of Pagasa and the Japan Meteorological Agency shown by Renzo del Rosario, CCDRRMO planning chief.
According to Alcontin, the 17 units of heavy machinery such as compactors, payloaders, road graders, excavators and dump trucks have been sent to the mountain barangays where landslides frequently happen during torrential rains.
He said so far, no evacuation order has been issued to residents of coastal barangays.
To avoid untoward incidents, the CCDRRMO decided to cancel a scheduled fun run on Sunday.
Rama’s plan for the early release of the salaries of nearly 6,000 employees was also cancelled as the typhoon is not expected to hit Cebu.
Meanwhile, other towns and cities in the province ordered the cancellation of classes due to inclement weather.
The first to issue a notice to cancel classes at all levels was the town of Daanbantayan, northern Cebu, followed by the local government of Talisay City.
Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. said he ordered the cancellation of face-to-face classes in public schools, but modules will still be given to the students.
In the town of Minglanilla, southern Cebu, Mayor Rajiv Enad canceled classes in all levels on Friday, May 26, for both public and private schools. Saturday classes for college students were also ordered cancelled by Enad.
The towns of Consolacion and San Fernando and the City of Naga also announced that there will be no classes.
Although super typhoon Mawar is not expected to directly hit Central Visayas, heavy rains are expected during the weekend as the southerly wind intensifies.
In line with this, various local disaster risk reduction and management offices across Cebu province conducted a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) to determine the appropriate measures that should be taken and identify areas often affected by flooding.
Among the localities that have already held their PDRA are the towns of Asturias, City of Naga, Compostela, Dumanjug, Malabuyoc, Minglanilla, San Fernando, Santa Fe and Sogod.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Neil Sanchez said he has coordinated with various offices at the Capitol to prepare equipment that can be borrowed by the local government units in case the typhoon deviates from its route.
The province has prepared food supplies for those who may be affected.
Sanchez assured that groups of construction companies in the province have promised to help localities that may need help especially with equipment that can be used for search, rescue and recovery operations.
Although the chance of the typhoon making landfall in Cebu is small, Sanchez called on the public not to be complacent as it is still expected to bring rains and thunderstorms during the weekend. (PAC, TPT, ANV)