Cold rainy days continue, authorities on storm alert
URDUJA MOVES SLOWLY
As signal number 1 from tropical storm “Urduja” remained hoisted over northern Cebu on Friday, the strong winds and incessant rains brought some floods to the towns of Sogod and Tabogon.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said that Sogod officials began evacuating five families composed of 25 individuals as the river in Barangay Nahus-an started to overflow.
In Tabogon, two families or 10 people living in Barangay Pio were also evacuated as their homes were at risk of floods.
A portion of a provincial road located in the village also collapsed, Tribunalo said, after unceasing rains eroded the soil underneath, rendering only one lane of the road passable.
“We are monitoring and verifying reports from other towns and cities especially those in the river communities. PDRRMO responders are on standby,” he said.
In San Remigio, disaster responders were deployed in all of the town’s 27 barangays as rains have not stopped since Tuesday afternoon.
San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez said no incidents of flashfloods and landslides arising from the bad weather were reported as of Friday afternoon.
“Ga sige pa ug ulan. Mao lang gyud na ang among kabalak-an pero ready na man mi. Naka-store na ta og emergency food packs sa kada barangay in case dunay evacuation (The rains have not stopped and that’s what really worries us. But we’re ready. We have stored emergency food packs in our barangays in case of evacuation),” said Martinez.
In Cebu City, strong winds toppled down two lead trees in the mountain village of Adlaon, Cebu City yesterday.
Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief Nagiel Bañacia said that no one was hurt when the trees, locally known as “Ipil-Ipil”, fell near the Cebu Transcentral Highway.
“Na-cleared ra man dayon (It was immediately cleared),” said Bañacia as he continued to hope that the non-stop rains that have hit Cebu in the last few days would not cause any more accidents.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, chairperson of the committee on police matters, urged barangay captains in flood and landslide prone areas to monitor incidents that may be caused by the incessant rainfall.
The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) also remained on alert.
Supt. Reyman Tolentin, PRO-7 information officer, said that all police stations were told to monitor their areas and to put up signs to alert motorists of the slippery roads.
“Kini usab atong mga kadalanan basin nay mga aksidente mahitabo. So nag-monitor ta and nagbutang og mga safety precautions, (We’re also monitoring our roads to prevent accidents and we are putting up safety precautions),” Tolentin said.
Police personnel, he said, were deployed in all ports of the region, especially in northern Cebu, to assist stranded passengers.
Tolentin added that the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) has also been alerted for possible deployment to augment local police.
“Anytime, our policemen can respond,” said Tolentin.
The chief of state weather bureau, Pagasa-Mactan, Engr. Al Quiblat said Cebuanos should expect more rains in the coming days as “Urduja” is slowly moving northwest at 5 kph.
“Hapit na wa maglihok si ‘Urduja’ (It’s almost like ‘Urduja’ isn’t moving),” Quiblat told Cebu Daily News explaining that several factors can affect the weather system such as the tail-end of a cold front and the northeast monsoon or “Amihan.”
“Urduja” is expected to make landfall Saturday, December 16, over Northern and Eastern Samar.
Pagasa has placed Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar and Biliran under Tropical Storm Warning Signal Number 2; while Signal Number 1 remains hoisted over northern Cebu, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Capiz, Aklan, northern Iloilo, Dinagat Islands, Romblon, Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Camarines Sur. /with reports from Steffi Kyle Nolido, USC Masscom Intern
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