Ofel damage to Cebu minimalBy Carmel Loise Matus, Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
Tropical storm Ofel caused minor damage in a few houses, farms and a barangay road in seven barangays in Bogo City in north Cebu where the storm passed.
The storm, which left the Philippines last night, was charted 570 kms west of Iba, Zambales and heading towards Vietnam.
Cebu will have clear and sunny weather today and the weekend, said Oscar Tabada, chief of Pag-asa Mactan but rain will return by Wednesday.
After a storm, there’s usually a lull of four to five days, before the rain resumes, he said.
One death was recorded in Cebu, 66-year-old tricycle driver Ruben Tabura, who was buried under rocks and soil near a spring well where he went to draw water in barangay Jaclupan, Talisay City, according to Flor Gaviola, civil defense officer of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD 7).
Another landslide in a mountain road in barangay Campo 4 in Talisay City on Thursday morning slowed traffic.
Gaviola said the storm alone could not be blamed because there was ongoing roadwork in the area that could have affected the stability of the soil.
The death of a 17-year-old boy gathering seashells in Dumanjug town was not included in the list of casualties because it happened on Oct 23, a day before the storm affected Cebu.
In Bogo City, tropical storm Ofel affected seven barangays of Sto. Rosario, Don Pedro, Nailon, Taytayan, Gairan, Marangog, and Cayang.
Five houses reported minor damage. Three houses suffered minor flooding in Don Pedro while a fishing boat was damaged in Nailon.
A barangay road in Gairan showed new surface cracks after heavy rains.
Bogo’s agriculture office also reported minor damage in corn and sugarcane farms, while some fruit trees were uprooted.
Camotes Island had a power outage during the storm but no significant damage.
There were no reports of infrastructure damage in the north, said Acting provincial engineer Adolfo Quiroga.
Capitol officials said early preparation by the towns and component cities was effective in minimizing the storm’s impact.
Gov. Gwendlyn Garcia convened the provincial disaster council on Wednesday, a day before the storm hit, and called on towns and cities to be on 24-hour alert.
Agencies were told to give updates every two hours.
Backhoes and bulldozers were positioned in the northern towns, ready to cross to the islands of Camotes and Bantayan for clearing operations when needed.
Doctors and nurses from the Integrated Provincial Health Office were ready for response operations.
All district hospitals were plaed on ‘code white’, which means that hospital personnel have to keep watch for possible emergencies caused by the bad weather.