Mango Avenue flooding, flash flood deaths draw concern of Cebu City government
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The flooding along General Maxilom Avenue, also known as Mango Avenue, in Cebu City on Tuesday night, October 13, 2020, has become a cause of concern for the Cebu City government.
Couniclor Jerry Guardo, the council’s chairperson for the committee on infrastructure, said that the flooding was unprecedented.
“This has never happened before in the uptown areas. Our flood problems were always concentrated in the downtown. The problem has reached the uptown,” said Guardo.
In a press conference on Thursday, October 14, 2020, Guardo revealed that the flood was a product of two incidents.
First, there was massive water volume going through the Kamputhaw River which reached a bottle neck at the Tinago and Tejero creeks, causing water to overflow.
Second, a creek along Mango Avenue was covered during the construction of a high-rise building in the area, disrupting the natural flow of water and, thus, causing the flood.
Guardo said that with the additional factor of garbage in the waterways and silted rivers, the flood managed to cause a problem in the uptown area of the city.
If the flood managed to soak Mango Avenue in mud, other barangays suffered much worse.
A senior citizen in Barangay Lorega San Miguel died after being caught in a flash flood inside his home.
A 16-year-old male was also carried away by the flood and the retrieval operations continue at this time of writing.
Fixing drainage system
The rushing Kamputhaw River also took the life of a 49-year-old male in Barangay Busay after the seemingly intoxicated Leonardo “Kaka” Otto entered the river and was never able to get out.
Cebu City Risk Reduction and Management Office head Ramil Ayuman said that the deaths is a sign that there is an urgent need to fix the drainage system in the city.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) told the city government in their Wendesday meeting that the three-meter easement has to be followed in the river banks to avoid similar incidents.
This would also allow the DPWH to freely dredge, deepen, and widen the major rivers so that it can carry more volume of water.
Guardo said there is now a sense of urgency over the drainage problems of the city.
He urged the city government and the DPWH to work together and fix the drainage situation.
As for Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, he already ordered the evacuation of all living in the danger zone.
He promised that the city will help the families of the victims of the flashfloods.
The mayor also ordered the Department of Public Works and the Department of Engineering and Public Works to clean up the waterways and prevent flooding.
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