Banilad chief asks Cortes: Address flooding on A.S. Fortuna street

·5 min read

THE village chief of Banilad, Mandaue City appealed to city officials to come up with a long-term solution to the flooding problem affecting residents and business establishments in the barangay, particularly A.S. Fortuna St.

On several occasions this month, portions of A.S. Fortuna St. were submerged in chest-deep waters within minutes after a heavy downpour, stalling traffic and posing risks to public health and safety.

As rains continued on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, at least three rivers and creeks in Mandaue overflowed, resulting in the evacuation of at least 400 individuals.

Juvelyn Estrera, radio operator of the Mandaue City Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO), said some areas in Barangays Tipolo and Umapad were flooded around noon, leaving some motorists stranded for about an hour.

Portions of Barangays Subangdaku and Banilad, particularly A.S. Fortuna St., were also flooded on Friday, Aug. 12, after a portion of the Mahiga Creek riprap in Subangdaku collapsed.

In a phone interview on Saturday, Banilad Barangay Captain Greg Yap said he plans to personally appeal to Mayor Jonas Cortes and Mandaue City Lone District Rep. Emmarie “Lolypop” Ouano-Dizon to address the worsening flooding situation and come up with concrete solutions.

Yap said he fears that prospective investors and owners of businesses in A.S. Fortuna St. will be turned off by the flooding problem there.

“Commercial area man gud ni ang A.S. Fortuna. Kung dili man gane masulbad ning problema sa baha, mo-pull out gyud ang mga negosyante diha sa area (A.S. Fortuna St. is a commercial area. If the flooding problem is not addressed, business owners will definitely pull out),” Yap said.

Yap said the flooding problem has been affecting A.S. Fortuna long before he was elected village chief in 2018.

2 establishments

Yap said despite their efforts to clear the barangay’s drainage systems, the flooding persists because of the structures that block the flow of water into Mahiga Creek, which traverses their barangay.

According to Yap, at least two business establishments constructed driveways above the creek, which would have served as an outfall in case of flooding incidents.

(SunStar Cebu is withholding the names of the business establishments pending their comment.)

Yap said he already sought the City Government’s assistance in convincing the two establishments to remove the structures they constructed along the creek.

The village chief also talked to the business owners, who, he said, refused to remove the structures, but committed to cooperate with the barangay in cleaning up Mahiga Creek.

Aside from removing the structures above and along Mahiga Creek, Yap also urged City Hall to dredge parts of the creek to keep it from swelling during heavy rains.

Yap said parts of the creek, particularly the boundary of Barangay Subangdaku in Mandaue and Barangay Mabolo in Cebu City, need to be dredged.

He said the barangay has done its part in cleaning up the Mahiga Creek through its regular river clean-up activities, but he admitted that these are merely “band-aid solutions.”

A.S. Fortuna St. is one of at least five areas in Mandaue that were flooded after a portion of the Mahiga Creek riprap in Subangdaku collapsed following the heavy downpour on Friday afternoon.

Marites Jayme, team radio operator of the MCDRRMO, said the heavy rains in the creek’s upper stream may have contributed to the pressure of water in its downstream, causing the collapse of one of its ripraps.

Jayme said the flood lasted about two hours and affected some areas in Barangays Tingub, Tipolo, Cabancalan and Subangdaku.

Jayme said that based on the reports they gathered, the flood was about knee-deep, except for some portions of A.S. Fortuna St., particularly in front of Cebu Rolling Hills Memorial Chapels Inc., where the water reached shoulder level.

No one was harmed in the incident, but it caused moderate to heavy traffic, particularly along Lopez Jaena St. in Subangdaku.

The MCDRRMO also reported that a river in Barangay Casuntingan and the Cambugaong River in Barangay Umapad overflowed during the downpour on Saturday. Some 85 families, or 400 individuals, were evacuated.

Following these incidents, the MCDRRMO is on heightened alert and has been monitoring flooded areas.

Landslides

In Cebu City, at least 25 of the 80 barangays were affected by the heavy downpour that resulted in various incidents, such as flooding, soil erosion and landslides from Aug. 4 to 12.

As of 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) Head Raquel Arce noted a total of 67 incidents of landslide, flooding and rescue operations.

Based on her report to Mayor Michael Rama, Arce said a total of 136 families consisting of 541 individuals were affected, though no casualty was reported.

About 18 barangays in Cebu City were reportedly submerged in flood waters affecting at least 102 families, or 429 individuals.

The most recent landslide reportedly occurred in Sitio Laya in Barangay Kalunasan around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, which prompted responders to install warning devices and caution tape since the road was not passable.

A portion of Villagonzalo St. near the Tejero Elementary School was also flooded around the same time.

Soil erosions were also reported in Barangays Pit-os, Pung-ol Sibugay and Sirao.

A total of 86 houses were damaged and 26 were destroyed by landslides in Barangays Buhisan, Pit-os, Banilad, Binaliw, Pulangbato, Sirao, Budlaan and Pung-ol Sibugay.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Visayas advised the public to continue taking precautionary measures as the rainy days in the Visayas may extend until next week due to local thunderstorms.

On Saturday, Engr. Al Quiblat, chief of Pagasa Visayas weather bureau, said that based on the thunderstorm advisory issued by Pagasa Visayas at 2:16 p.m., moderate to heavy rain showers with lightning and strong winds due to thunderstorms may persist for one to two hours over Cebu, particularly in Naga City and San Fernando and portions of Toledo City, Balamban, Carcar City, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan and Minglanilla. (HIC, MKG, JKV)