AN ESTIMATED 1,000 informal settlers continue to live along Cebu City’s riverbanks, exposing themselves to the dangers of flooding.
However, the City Government is prepared to forcibly evacuate them if there is a forecast of heavy rain that can trigger a flash flood.
Their transfer has been derailed because the City is still looking for relocation sites, according to City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) officer-in-charge Ramil Ayuman.
According to the CDRRMO, both the downtown and uptown areas have become prone to flooding.
On Oct. 13, 2020, both these areas experienced heavy flooding after the city’s creeks overflowed.
The city’s coastal areas, from Pier 1 to the South Road Properties, are also prone to storm surges, Ayuman said.
Based on the data provided by the CDRRMO, more than 900 structures encroach on the three-meter easement zone along the city’s waterways.
The CDRRMO has also identified mountain barangays that are at risk of landslides.
In a previous report, Ayuman said he already coordinated with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau 7 for the updated geohazard map so the City could come up with the necessary intervention.
Meanwhile, the CDRRMO in Mandaue City has yet to relocate residents who encroach on the three-meter easement zone of riverbanks.
Felix Suico Jr., CDRRMO head, said they and barangay officials will continue to heighten their monitoring of geohazard areas and, if necessary, implement a preemptive evacuation.
He said they recently inspected and took an inventory of equipment used for disasters in the city’s 27 barangays and discovered that most only had shovels and fire extinguishers.
He said barangays in flood-prone areas should have life jackets, ropes and portable floaters, while barangays in fire-prone areas should have fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
Since Wednesday, Nov. 4, seven CDRRMO personnel along with 21 responders from Barangay Cubacub have been undergoing a one-week training course on swift water awareness in the southwestern town of Badian, Suico said.
He said the course will teach them offensive rescue techniques and prepare them to work as a team to retrieve victims trapped in swift currents.
The training is being conducted by members of the Central Visayas Rescue Team, he said. (JJL, KFD)