Editorial: Assessment

·2 min read

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reports Tuburan as the hardest hit in the flooding that followed heavy rains this week.

In Barangay 8 alone, 2,610 individuals, 1,735 families and 683 households were affected. A SunStar Cebu report said around 780 families from Barangay Poblacion had to be evacuated. There were 20 from Barangay Mangga and 30 from Barangay Colonia.

In Asturias, said the PDRRMO, the flooding also displaced some 155 families or 680 individuals in Barangays Bago, New Bago and Sta. Lucia. High waters also reached the town’s poblacion and Barangay Owak. Over a hundred households from Barangays Baliwagan, Cantuod and Nangka also needed to be evacuated in Balamban town.

A certain Waren Jay Almaden was on a motorcycle when floodwaters in Danao City swept him away just shortly after the City’s disaster office issued a flood alert via its Facebook at 9 a.m. when Tangon River in Barangay Tabok overflowed. He was found six hours later in Barangay Sta. Rosa while his motorcycle was recovered in Barangay Ogis. The current was strong enough that the search took that long. Twenty-four families in Danao City also had to be retrieved from their homes for safety.

Balamban Mayor Alex Binghay said the flooding was caused by a combination of heavy rain and high tide. River water could not haul itself out as seawater was also high.

To recall, in 2013, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MBG) 7 said it had “completely assessed” over 200 barangays in the towns of Pinamungajan, Asturias, Catmon, Dumanjug and Ronda. It had also full assessment on flood- and landslide-prone areas in Cebu City, Toledo City, City of Baga and Talisay City. The years that followed, however, showed other towns have been heavily inundated as well in time of heavy downpour.

As the state of our towns have easily changed through the years since then, it may be best for government to re-assess them and come up with an updated mapping of flood-prone areas.

The recent incidents come in the wake of the severe flooding in Northern Luzon, which affected thousands of families and damaged properties and major infrastructures.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia had planned to visit the sites of the flooding and meet with concerned agencies. We hope the assessment will be made known as quickly so the public may know, so that stakeholders who are potentially in danger will know while the rest of the community can help in whatever way it can.