Portions of Metro Cebu submerged in floodwater after morning rains

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THE downpour on Saturday morning, June 12, 2021, caused riverbanks to overflow in Metro Cebu, flooding several areas and damaging houses and establishments.

The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) recorded flooding in Barangays Malubog, Lorega, Ermita and Zapatera.

Various waterways in the city also overflowed, including the river in Sitio Pili in Barangay Malubog and the Tejero Creek. Water spilled into Gen. Maxilom Ave. as the water level rose.

CDRRMO officer-in-charge Ramil Ayuman said at least 17 families were evacuated in Sitio Pili to the barangay gym after floodwater entered their houses.

The CDRRMO also responded to a landslide in Sitio Locana in Barangay Kalunasan and in Sitio Bakilid in Barangay Lahug.

Ayuman said a quick response team was sent to clear both areas, adding that no one was hurt in the incidents.

His office also recorded three felled trees, but these were immediately cleared.

The CDRRMO continues to monitor the city for possible effects of the heavy rain.

High volume

City Councilor Jerry Guardo, in a separate interview, said the volume of water from the mountains was too much for the city’s various waterways to handle, causing many of them to spill their banks.

“The rivers are already so narrow that they cannot accommodate the waters coming from the mountains,” he said.

Guardo also said there is an ongoing dredging in Tejero Creek, which is why there is a backhoe in the river. Its presence hampered the flow of water, causing the creek to overflow.

He said portions of an ongoing sheet pile project on the waterway near McArthur Blvd. are also uncovered, which is why water went through.

Guardo said he will ask the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 to expedite its flood control and river improvement project to address the city’s flooding problem.

Road washed away

In Mandaue City, a portion of Lopez Jaena St. in Barangay Subangdaku was washed away because of Saturday morning’s heavy rains.

Buddy Alain Ybañez, head of the Mandaue CDRRMO, said the area experienced knee-deep flooding around 8 a.m.

Cars and motorcycles could barely pass until the water subsided an hour later. It was then they discovered that some of the asphalt in the area had peeled off, he said.

As a result, only one lane going to Cebu City is passable, while the flaked off portion has been cordoned off, said John Eddu Ibañez, Mayor Jonas Cortes’ executive secretary.

Ibañez said the area may experience heavy traffic in the coming days.

He said the CDRRMO is coordinating with DPWH 7 officials since the affected road is a national highway.

Ybañez said Lopez Jaena St. flooded after the Mahiga Creek overflowed.

A portion of M.C. Briones St. in Barangay Tipolo and A.S. Fortuna St. in front of Cebu Rolling Hills Memorial Chapels were also inundated with floodwater, he said.

However, Ybañez pointed out that the Butuanon River did not overflow, although its water level rose.

He also said they did not receive alarms or reports of incidents other than the areas that experienced flooding.

According to weather bureau Pagasa stationed in Mactan, Cebu, the automatic rain gauge of the Department of Science and Technology in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City recorded a total of 67 millimeters (mm) of rainfall from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday.

This is equivalent to 335,000 barrels of rain per square kilometer as one mm of rain is equivalent to 5,000 barrels of rain per square kilometer.

Romeo Aguirre, weather specialist, said they already recorded 150.1 mm of rainfall from June 1 to June 11.

Pagasa, earlier, said there was a big chance that Cebu would have an above normal rainfall (190.4 mm) this month with the tropical storm Dante already dumping 102.7 mm of rain in Cebu in just one day from 8 a.m. of June 1 to 8 a.m. of June 2.

In a separate interview, Jhomer Eclarino, weather specialist, said Metro Cebu can expect mostly cloudy to cloudy with a high chance of rainshowers and thunderstorms in the next five days. He said there will be occasional fair weather due to monsoon breaks.

He advised the public to always monitor the latest weather update and thunderstorm and rainfall advisories, as occasional heavy rains are possible, which also bring the threat of flash floods and landslides in vulnerable areas.

The rainy season in the country officially started on June 4.

He said the average temperature to be expected in the next five days is 25 to 31 degrees Celsius. (JJL, KFD, WBS)

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