TOLEDO CITY AFTER AGATON
After spending their New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in evacuation centers, the over 800 individuals in Toledo City, a western town estimated to be 28 km from Cebu City, have already returned to their homes as the skies cleared from the storm clouds brought about by Tropical Storm Agaton.
Agaton, which made five landfalls including one in Santander town in southern Cebu according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), had brought rains in the southern and western parts of Cebu province including Toledo City, which flooded 12 barangays there, and caused landslides in some barangays in the town as well as in Ginatilan town and Malabuyoc town in southwestern Cebu, where a person was killed (See page 1 story).
Engineer Alexander Abella, Toledo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief, said the flooded areas included Barangays Poblacion, Sangi, Ibo, Dumlog, Bato and some coastal areas.
The evacuees were housed at the M.A. Barba Sports Complex (in Barangay Poblacion), at the church and their barangay halls, said Risa Rafols, Toledo City Peso Manager who helped in the evacuation.
“Aside from the people sa gym, there are some 70 individuals pod nga naa sa church nag-stay,”said Rafols.
“This is the first time in the history of Toledo City nga ingon ani kadako ang tubig. Daghan na bayag typhoon niagi pero karon ra gyod nga ingon ani (This is the first time in the history of Toledo City that the floodwaters affected a large area of the city. There have been many typhoons that affected the city but this is the first time that this affected quite a large area),” Rafols added.
Abella said that the drainage system was not able to accommodate the volume of water coming from the heavy rain.
In their disaster assessment meeting, Abella said that the local government of Toledo City had already met with private and public stakeholders to discuss the possible solutions to their drainage problem.
Meanwhile, Neil Cabañero of the CDRRMO said that two landslide incidents were also reported in Barangays Landahan and Lihan.
He said that the soil in those barangays loosened due to the incessant rain.
“Its not the first time that a landslide incident happened in Toledo, but its the first time for those barangays to have landslides,” said Cabañero.
In Barangay Landahan, a house was damaged when the soil beneath it collapsed around 4 a.m. on Monday.
He said that the family was already evacuated to their barangay hall last night and no one was hurt when the landslide happened.
But, a man was wounded in the head and was brought to the Toledo City District Hospital when he slipped outside his house in Barangay Lihan during the evacuation of the families there.
“Nalipay ta nga walay casualty, but ongoing gihapon ang atong assessment to consolidate the damages,” said Abella.