Wednesday August 22, 2018

No classes as towns, cities assess storm’s toll

FOR the second time this week, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III suspended today’s classes in both public and private schools as a precaution against rain and gusts from tropical depression Basyang.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña also announced on Facebook last night that he had suspended classes in all levels, in both public and private schools.

Disaster management teams from Cebu City and Mandaue City said that as of late Tuesday afternoon, no flood or landslide had been reported.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma requested all parishes to open their churches to evacuees, if needed.

“Time and again, we have instructed our clergy if and when there are calamities, we should make available our centers, whether they be gymnasiums or churches,” the archbishop said.

Always be ready

In Cebu City, an official advised residents to make sure that disaster management begins at home. “Everything boils down to proper planning. Look for anything that could hurt you and eliminate it. Plan your escape if needed and prevent any eventuality,” said Nagiel Bañacia, chief of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office.

Except for the legislative department, work at Cebu City Hall was suspended yesterday afternoon. Classes in all levels, both in public and private schools, were also suspended.

The council’s regular session yesterday afternoon pushed through as decided by its members. However, the final deliberation of proposed ordinances was deferred until the next session.

In Mandaue, officials kept a wary eye on the Butuanon River and said that the city would remain on red alert status until Basyang leaves.

Steady advisories

As of 1 p.m., Felix Suico Jr. said the level of water in the Butuanon River rose by about two feet, but there was no need to evacuate the families. He heads the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. A quick response team under that office was on standby for 24 hours.

“We have been giving weather advisories to the barangay captains through text messages,” Suico said in Cebuano.

Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing decided to cancel classes from elementary to senior high school. Work in the Mandaue City Hall ended at 2 p.m. so employees could go home early.

In Lapu-Lapu City, the Department of Education suspended classes yesterday afternoon. Andy Berame, who heads the city’s disaster management office, said that trips to Olango Island were cancelled.

Meanwhile, the disaster management officer of Barili clarified that a damaged highway in Barangay Malolos was not part of Basyang’s impact.

Noel Girasol told SunStar Cebu that the road was damaged last year, but just before Basyang spawned heavy rain, the Department of Public Works and Highways cordoned off the area to prevent accidents. (JKV, RTF, FMG)