Heavy rains swamp Metro Cebu

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita August 22,2014 - 09:30 AM

Heavy rains lasting for almost two hours close to midnight caused flooding in low lying areas in Metro Cebu.

Several residents living near waterways had to be evacuated. Cars got stuck in water logged roads in Cebu and Mandaue cities.

Heavy rains started to fall about 11 p.m. and lasted until 1:38 a.m. Thursday, with a volume of 73.6 millimeters of water, according to the Mactan station of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astrological Services Administration (Pagasa),

Leonardo Samar, Pagasa weather observer, said the heavy rains may last until the weekend, and were caused by thunderstorms imbedded in intertropical convergence zone.

The Cebu City’s Command and Control Center (C3) had to evacuate some residents near rivers and creeks.

According to C3 operations chief Alvin Santillana, quick response teams had to evacuate some families living under the bridge in C. Padilla near the Kinalumsan River.

“We weren’t able to notice houses there before. We evacuated them. Although the river didn’t overflow, it was already at a critical level,” Santillana said.

Residents along the Mahiga Creek in barangay Mabolo were also told the evacuate during the rains after the barangay’s response team sought assistance from the C3.

Quick response

C3 rescue teams to assist the evacuation of the residents.

“We would like to ask for the cooperation of our residents. Those living near creeks and rivers shouldn’t wait to be told to evacuate. They should immediately move to higher ground. After rain stops and the water subside, they can go back. It’s for their own safety,” Santillana said.

Urban flooding was also observed in the reclamation areas of Cebu City and Mandaue near the Mahiga Creek and and in barangays Tipolo and Subangdaku of Mandaue.

Santillana described the rains as “abnormal” because they lasted more more than an hour.

Floods in Holy Name Street in Mabolo reached 3 to4 feet deep, while in sitio Lahing-Lahing, it reached 5 feet deep, said Santillana.

The 0.8-meter high tide starting at 10:54 p.m. last Wednesday may have aggravated the flooding.
Most vehicles in the Mabolo area got stuck when the floodwater reached their engines.

Rescuers had wait for the flood to subside before helping push stranded vehicles to restart their enginges.

No stranded commuters had to be ferred during the rains.

The C3 started working 11 p.m. and wrapped up monitoring and operations at almost 3 a.m. the next day.

Despite the floods in urban areas, no incidents were reported in the mountain barangays.

“We were happy that officials in mountain barangays like Buhisan and Malubog were very proactive. They were quick in giving monitoring reports to the C3,,” Santillana said.

The rain was so hard, there was zero visibility in some areas, and caused a taxi and private vehicle to collide near Urgello Street towards midngiht, said Citom operations chief Joy Tumulak.

“During heavy rains, I advise motorists to be extra careful because sometimes you can’t clearly see the road ahead,” Tumulak said. /with reports from Associate Editor BenCyrus G. Ellorin

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TAGS: Cebu, Pagasa, rains, weather

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