IN SOME parts of Metro Cebu, the rains brought about by typhoon Ursula started an hour after noon on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019.
There was no need for alarm since it never became torrential. Scattered and intermittent were apt descriptions for the rainfall which failed to dampen the residents’ spirits.
However, in the northern part of the province, the scenario was different.
The danger brought about by the last weather disturbance of the year was all too real, especially in the adjacent towns of Daanbantayan and Medellin, the hardest hit local government units (LGUs) in the province.
However, it was in Danao City where Jonathan Canggas, a 31-year-old motorcycle-for-hire driver, paid with his life for ignoring the warnings.
According to reports, the victim went to a cousin’s house in Barangay Togonon on Christmas Eve. Shortly after midnight, he told them he was going home. They pleaded that he stay, but he refused to listen and hopped on his bike.
On the afternoon of Christmas Day, he was reported missing. His body was retrieved by responders of the City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) in Awihao Dam in Barangay Guinocot Thursday morning, Dec. 26.
The weather bureau Pagasa, the Provincial DRRMO and the Cebu Police Provincial Office were not remiss in reminding the public about the danger typhoon Ursula posed to areas in its path.
A day before making landfall, LGUs that would be affected were told to be on alert and to monitor and check barangays that were prone to landslides and flooding.
Public storm warning Signal No. 1 was raised over most of central and northern Cebu.
Authorities were still looking for Erickson Gimenez, who was reported missing in Sta. Fe town in Bantayan Island as of press time, Thursday night, Dec. 26.
They didn’t say the circumstances surrounding Gimenez’s disappearance, but the six fishermen from the town, who were also reported missing, later showed up. Apparently, they had found a safe harbor where they waited out the storm.
Nowadays, advances in technology have minimized casualties in natural calamities, but there’s no saving those who insist on flirting with death.