THE Boljoon Municipal Government is racing against time and the weather to immediately clear debris that blocked a major river system there.

Eutemio Ternate, Boljoon’s local disaster officer, said that with more rains expected in Cebu this week, they fear that the artificial dam that blocked the Lusapon River could overflow, and this might cause a massive flash flood and affect households living on the riverside.

Ternate said at least 80 households living in the town’s riverside and low-lying areas could be affected if the artificial dam overflows.

Even though heavy equipment provided by the Cebu Provincial Government started clearing some of the debris and have removed at least 80,000 cubic meters of stagnant water there, it was not enough.

Ternate said they still need to remove at least 250,000 cubic meters from the river before they can completely clear the area of the debris.

“Dili sad namo pwede pakalitan ug tangtang ang landmass nga nagtabon sa sapa kay makacause ug flashflood (We also cannot abruptly remove the debris because that might cause a landslide),” Ternate said.

Aside from the artificial dam, Ternate said they need to address some problems such as landslides occurring in Barangay Lower Becerril.

Landslides that occurred there since last week have now displaced 17 families, he said.

Ternate said they are worried that another landslide will occur as the town continues to experience heavy rains.

Roads going to Barangay Lower Becerril have also been blocked because of the landslides there.

For now, the Boljoon Municipal Government is implementing measures to ensure that other residents of Barangay Lower Becerril are not affected.

Ternate, however, said that there are no immediate plans to declare a state of calamity in the town since only one barangay is currently affected by the incident. (JKV)