‘Butchoy’ unlikely to make landfall
The chances of tropical storm “Butchoy” (international name: Nepartak) making landfall in the country appear to be slim, the state weather bureau Pagasa said yesterday.
Pagasa Mactan chief Alfredo Quiblat Jr. said the storm is expected to enter the country tonight but it may be headed to Taiwan.
“It might even exit the country on Friday or over the weekend,” Quiblat told Cebu Daily News.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Butchoy was spotted 1,855 kilometers east of Visayas, causing rainfall in Cebu.
It was moving northwest in the country at 30 kph with maximum sustained winds of 77 kph and gustiness of 90 kph.
Pagasa Mactan issued four separate thunderstorm warning advisories at 11:32 a.m. for Metro Cebu areas and at noon for Liloan town yesterday.
It was followed by two thunderstorm warnings for Metro Cebu at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Pagasa Mactan recorded 217 mm of rain which is above July’s average rainfall level of 202 mm.
Quiblat said it’s possible that the amount of rainfall may reach up to 300 mm this month.
In Barangay Buhisan, Cebu City, barangay chairman Gremar Barrete said they coordinated with the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) in monitoring the Buhisan Dam for any possible overflowing of water due to downpours.
He said a 30-minute downpour resulted in the dam overflowing and caused flooding and landslides in nearby areas. All tanods were on full alert, Barrete said.
In yesterday’s press conference, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña called on city residents and Cebuanos to make their own preparations for the storm.
“The most important is store water. Do your laundry while there’s water. Because once there is a major storm, there is no water. You cannot even take a bath,” Osmeña said.
He also reiterated that households should segregate their garbage into biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes.
“Don’t mix biodegradable or malata with non-biodegradable wastes or di malata. Because the city will only collect the malata (biodegradable wastes) because that’s what will cause an epidemic,” Osmeña said.
He also advised Cebuanos to buy garbage bags to cover all appliances, to not buy perishable goods and to consume perishables inside the refrigerator.
They should also fill their gas tanks to avoid long lines, and if possible, buy extra phone batteries, the mayor said.
Osmeña said he plans to build a water impounding system underneath Natalio Bacalso Avenue in order to divert floodwater from downtown area to Guadalupe River.
“You don’t solve flooding by expanding the drainage projects in the downtown area. It will not really work. You do it by impounding the water, to slow down rainwater coming from high ground,” he said.
After impounding the water, Osmeña said the water should be diverted to Guadalupe River.
Nagiel Banacia, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief, confirmed that Mayor Osmeña commissioned a study on setting up a catchment basin in Sitio Nasipit, Barangay Talamban.
The study also included creating water diversion routes in Barangay Guadalupe and N. Bacalso Avenue.
Banacia said these flood mitigation projects were inspired by those implemented by the Netherlands, a country located six feet below sea level.
In Mandaue City, Mayor Luigi Quisumbing said he ordered the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) headed by Felix Suico to identify and prepare evacuation centers.
Personnel will be on red alert today while the city government’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts will provide traffic and weather updates 24/7.
Dredging is also being done on the city’s canals and waterways.
In Lapu-Lapu City, Andre Berame, the city’s disaster risk reduction management officer, said they are preparing schools and barangay gyms as evacuation centers for families to be displaced by floods.
At the Capitol, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cynthia Genosolango said her office is coordinating with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) to help displaced families avoid contracting illnesses like leptospirosis and those needing emergency medical care./with UP Cebu Interns Patrick Byron C. Gattoc, Maurice Jitty Villaster and Antonette M. Garciano and USJ-R Intern Dafne N. Wenceslao
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