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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

As Butchoy approaches, DPWH fans out

PUBLIC works teams inspected flood-prone areas in Metro Cebu yesterday to try to figure out how floods, like the ones that stranded thousands last July 1, can be prevented.

For its part, the weather bureau reminded everyone to get ready for more rains this week. Apart from tropical storm Butchoy, the presence of an inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is expected to make this a wet week.

Teams from the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (MCDRRM) Office will be on standby by the time Butchot enters the Philippine area of responsibility this morning. Butchoy is also known as Nepartak abroad.

Findings from the flood-prone areas will be collated and submitted to the head office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Inspection teams focused on Cebu City, Mandaue City and Talisay City, where floods stalled traffic last July 1 and kept people on the road for three hours or more.

DPWH 7 Director Ador Canlas said they will submit a comprehensive report.

Cebu received a higher-than-average amount of rainfall on just the first two days of the month, the weather bureau reported.

Preparations

“The average rainfall for July is 202 millimeters. Even though we already have recorded 217.7 millimeters and this is above the average, the heavy rains are still normal,” said Alfredo Quiblat, Mactan station chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

He based his comments on rainfall data from 1986 to 2016.

Last July 1, Pagasa recorded 65.8 millimeters, followed by 151.9 millimeters last July 2.

Quiblat said last night that Butchoy was not likely to make landfall in the Philippines and would probably blow straight to Taiwan.

“If there is lighting and a thunderstorm, don’t touch metals, including faucets…Don’t use your mobile phone,” Quiblat said.

“It’s better to use emergency flashlights,” he added.

As part of preparations for bad weather, DPWH sent inspection teams to the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay.

For company, Canlas had District Engineer Nicomedes Leonor of DPWH’s Cebu City District Engineering Office, and the district engineers of Mandaue and Talisay.

Evacuation

According to the DPWH 7 director, all project recommendations to solve flooding will be submitted to their central office for inclusion in the annual budget for 2017.

They can also use the information to revise ongoing drainage projects, if needed.

In Mandaue City, disaster risk management officer Felix Suico said that the City has allowed vulnerable persons, including seniors, pregnant women and persons with disabilities, to stay in the basement of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC).

These persons were among the 3,000 individuals from Barangays Mantuyong and Guizo that have been staying on the CICC grounds after a fire in Barangays Mantuyong and Guizo almost four months ago displaced them.

Suico said the fire survivors will be evacuated to the Mandaue City Sports Complex just in case the city will be affected by tropical storm Butchoy.

Others may stay in the lobby area of the CICC, especially during heavy rains. Dan Henly N. Cuizon, USJR Comm Intern

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