SEVERAL houses in Caubian, an islet of Lapu-Lapu City, were submerged in seawater in the wee hours of Oct. 11, 2021, Monday as typhoon Maring brought strong gusts that resulted in huge waves.
When he learned about the situation in Caubian, Mayor Junard Chan immediately checked on the islet and had relief goods sent to the islet.
But Barangay Caubian Jascon Matbagon said the submersion was nothing out of the ordinary and it’s only in some parts of the islet.
It’s not a cause for worry, Matbagon said. “Normal ra na siya para amo. Dili sab na delikado,” Matbagon told Superbalita Cebu in an interview.
In a Facebook post noon of Monday, Chan said he sent first Nagiel Bañacia, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), to Caubian to assess the situation.
Bañacia, in an interview with Superbalita Cebu, said when high tide and big waves come, the seawater reaches Caubian and submerges the islet.
When he and his team arrived in Caubian Monday, the seawater had subsided and none of the residents were reported hurt, he said.
But he worried about the food supply in Caubian, Bañacia said.
He learned that only eight sacks of rice were available to feed 430 households.
On Chan’s instruction, Bañacia brought 255 boxes of food packs that had in them five kilos of rice, canned goods, and coffee and milk packs.
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, the CDRRMO team will return to Caubian to deliver 500 more food packs.
Bañacia said when a super typhoon similar to Yolanda (Haiyan) is expected, the entire Caubian islet folk have to be evacuated to the mainland.
Caubian Barangay Captain Matbagon said it’s not the entire islet that gets submerged; only areas by the shores and houses built on stilts are affected.
He said only about 50 of the 450 or so houses in Caubian were submerged Monday.
Matbagon said the islet folk are used to this condition whenever typhoons or tropical depressions happen.
Typhoon Maring did not directly hit Central Visayas, but its rains and strong gusts reached Cebu, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported.
Pagasa Mactan weather specialist Jhomer Eclarino said on Oct. 11, the sea level reached 1.85 meters, which was why the seawater reached land and even submerged it.
He said that water could rise higher if there are strong winds and could reach 2.8 meters to four meters.
The water level is expected to drop Tuesday, Oct. 12, when the sea quiets down. (REV, KFD)