Traffic was slow moving in Cebu City and parts of Metro Cebu area after Monday’s rains in the morning flooded roads and submerged motorcycles and other smaller vehicles in floodwater.
After the flooding subsided, piles of garbage that clogged the city’s drainage system became very visible, said Councilor Dave Tumulak in a phone interview on Monday.
“Daghan kaayong basura. Gahi kaayo og ulo ang mga taw uy. Pataka lang og labay. (Garbage was everywhere. People are very hard headed. They continue to dispose garbage as they please),” said Tumulak, head of the city’s peace and order committee.
Personnel of the city’s command center have been monitoring incidents of flooding and landslides that may happen due to the heavy rains that were felt in the city starting at around 9 a.m. Heavy raining continued until close to noontime, flooding “almost the entire city,” Tumulak said.
Knee-deep flooding was experienced in downtown Cebu City and in the southern part of the city including the vicinity of Sabellano Street and in Barangay Kinasang-an, stranding several commuters, he said.
The floods started to subside at past noon despite the light rains that continued until late in the afternoon.
Closed road in Busay
Tumulak said that Barangay Busay officials had set up a barricade to close a road located below the Mountain View Nature Park at around 5 p.m. because of the danger of collapse of the park’s concrete fence.
“Ni bahirig na ang kural. Kuyaw mahunlak. Mao na wala na paagi ang ubos (The fence sagged. It might collapse that is why passing at the road below the area had been prohibited),” Tumulak told Cebu Daily News.
Oscar Tabada, head of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Visayas (Pagasa Visayas), said heavy rains affected Bohol and Cebu while the low pressure area (LPA) passed by the two provinces on Monday morning from Surigao.
The LPA was already within the vicinity of Masbate province at around 5 p.m.
Because the LPA was slow moving, it poured heavy rains in Cebu and Bohol provinces, Tabada said.
“Wala kaayo siya nakasaka tungod sa high pressure area,” Tabada said in an interview with radio dyAB.
Tabada said fairer weather is expected in Cebu province and the rest of the country today since the LPA was already expected to leave the country Tuesday dawn.
“We will have an improved weather condition on Tuesday. Unlike Monday’s rain, which has caused floods in several areas. There will be lesser rain now,” said Al Quiblat of Pagasa Mactan.
Abnormal rain volume
Quiblat said that Monday’s rain lasted for nearly 7 hours with the volume of rain recorded from 8:54 to 9:10 a.m. was at 15 millimeters (mm).
He said that as of Monday, Metro Cebu had already recorded 270 mm volume of rain, which is an above normal volume of rain for September or 100 mm more than the estimate volume for the month of 170 mm.
Councilor Tumulak said no one in the city was reported injured during the heavy rains.
Enterprising individuals offered trisikad rides to workers and students who were left stranded by the flooding along F. Cabahug Street in Barangay Mabolo for a fee of P20 per person.
Around a hundred commuters waiting for a ride to downtown Cebu City were left stranded at the PUJ terminal of a mall at the North Reclamation Area at around 11 a.m.
Drivers of PUJs with route number 01K, which ply the Parkmall in the Mandaue North Reclamation Area-Colon-Urgello route had a difficulty in making a return trip to the mall’s terminal because of the knee-deep flooding in the downtown area.
Taxi drivers also refused to transport passengers to downtown Cebu City, afraid that they would get stuck in flooding and traffic in the area.
An ABS-CBN report said that pre-school classes were suspended at the Alaska Elementary School in Barangay Mambaling after rainwater flooded kindergarten classrooms.
In Lapu-Lapu City, classes were also suspended at the Marigondon Elementary School after rainwater flooded some classrooms.
An ABS-CBN report said that some houses in Sitio Iba in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City, were also submerged in knee-deep flooding.
Flooding was also experienced at the North Reclamation Area and Along A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue City.
Felix Suico Jr., Bantay Mandaue or the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head, said that they had been on blue alert since
Sunday afternoon when they received the Pagasa Mactan advisory of heavy rains in the next three days.
Suico said that blue alert is the second highest alert level which will require all Bantay Mandaue personnel including those on days off to report to the office.
With the alert status, they would give constant safety reminders to barangay officials and concerned families especially those living in identified landslide-prone areas in Barangays Casili, Cubacub and Tawason.
57 families warned
At least 57 families in these barangays had been advised to be vigilant and to prepare for immediate evacuation if it would be needed.
He said the office had also been monitoring the flood-prone barangays like Banilad, Tipolo, Paknaan, Casuntingan, Tingub, Umapad, Cabangcalan and Alang-Alang.
He, however, said that repairs done on some of the drainage in these areas had helped control the floods during heavy rains.
He said that with these drainage repairs, the time for the floods caused by heavy rains in these areas to subside had gone down from 2 to 3 hours to just 30 minutes.
He also cited the city’s implementation of the Plastic ban ordinance as one of the factors that had helped in lessening the flooding in the city.
The implementation of the plastic ban ordinance had really disciplined the public from using and indiscriminately throwing plastic anywhere, he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino has also ordered police officers in the region to help monitor low lying areas in the barangays under their jurisdictions.
Espino said that the chief of police should coordinate with the local executive officers so that they could relay information to the concerned agencies if needed. /With Correspondents Agnes B. Alpuerto and Fe Marie D. Dumaboc and Benjie Talisic