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TOO MUCH RAIN

Floodwaters surprise Consolacion town and Metro Cebu

/ 07:42 AM December 28, 2011

Water rose chest-high and partly submerged houses in the northern town of  Consolacion, the worst-hit area in reports of  flooding in  Metro Cebu after a night of continuous rain.

The Cansaga River overflowed, displacing five barangays and forcing 500 families to evacuate, said Consolacion Mayor Teresita Alegado.

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Severe flooding was also reported in parts of cities of  Cebu, Mandaue  and Talisay.

Cebu’s rainfall yesterday was recorded at 185.4 millimeters or four times more than the average daily water volume of 50 mm expected in the rainy season of November to January.

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“The volume of rainfall was above normal,” said Alice Canasa, weather specialist of the Philipine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (Pag-asa). (See story on page 2.)

In Mandaue City, 7-year-old Joyn Lloyd Canete went missing after swimming in the Butuanon River past 12 noon.

Two women in their 80s were killed in Tabogon town, northern Cebu, after their home was hit by a flash flood, according to the Office of Civil Defense.

“The water rose so fast,” said Melchora Inot, a 39-year-old housewife in sitio Laray, Consolacion town.  She recalled the gushing water that entered their house about 10 p.m. of Monday, forcing the the family to  evacuate.

“In our 10 years of living here, we never experienced this kind of flooding before,” she said in Cebuano.

She and her three children  evacuated to a chapel in the Pitogo barangay hall.

Sitio Laray used to be classified as a timberland but was cleared and filled with anapog (limestone)  during the term of former mayor Avelino Gungob, said barangay councilor Bernard Pepito.

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Pepito, who lives in one of more than 200 houses in the sitio that went underwater, said many people bought land there because of the low price of P1,000 per square meter.

The sitio looked like a fishpond yesterday with knee-deep water entering houses, a mix of gated concrete residences and  houses of light materials.

The water started to rise around 10 p.m. Monday and reached chest level by midnight.

Elisa Respito, a 37-year-old hotel worker, was shivering atop a cabinet with her child and sister when help arrived.

A close friend, Emmanuel Belhida, traveled from Cebu City and waded in chest-high water to bring them food.  He said Respito didn’t want to relocate from her low-rent lodging of P200 a month in Laray.

Barangay captain Aquilino Pitogo called an emergency meeting yesterday to use P20,000 of their calamity fund to budget P500 in relief goods per family.

Starting 11 p.m. Monday, the barangay disaster brigade of Cansaga started watching the river.   As soon as families started evacuating, a barangay patrol cab went out to rescue residents.

At least 48 families were rescued and evacuated to the barangay hall, the town’s covered court and chapels.

Mayor Alegado said the Cansaga River overflowed, affecting barangays Cansaga, Lower Nangka, Pitogo, Lower Jugan and Poblacion Oriental.

One family was stranded in the second floor of their house.

Some bridges and footbridges were also damaged, Alegado said the approach of the Jugan-Tayud bridge also caved-in and needs to be repaired.

In Mandaue City,  eight barangays were flooded—Casuntingan, Tingub, Maguikay, Banilad, Subangdaku, Mantuyong, Guizo and Basak.

The main road in barangay Basak leading to Cebu City was heavily flooded causing heavy traffic.

A report from the Office of the Civil Defense 7 said four houses were washed out in Maguikay and nine families in Banilad were also displaced.

In Cebu City, central streets in M.J. Cuenco Avenue, Sanciangko and Bonifacio were flooded. But water receded after several hours. (See story on page 2.)
Minor landslides were reported in mountain barangays of Busay and Binaliw.

In Mabolo, a low-lying barangay, 100 families were trapped in their houses in five  sitios—San Vicente, San Isidro, New Frontier, Magtalisay and Lahinglahing—said Cebu City disaster official Alvin Santillan. Water reached waist level so occupants just stayed at home.

In Talisay City, 20 families voluntarily evacuated in Lawaan 3, said Punlic information officer Arturo Bas.

Bas said the residents worried that the Mananga River would overflow but it didn’t.

In Lapu-Lapu City, four barangays were hit by floodwater, with the worst felt in Basak where about 1,500 houses were soaked in hip-deep water.

Basak barangay captain Isabelo Darnayla said the city government is sending suction pumps to remove the water and  that so far his barangay is coping.

Other affected barangays were  Pajo, Bangkal, which has about 500 houses, and  barangay Pajak, where Camella Homes, Abuno and Bliss are located.

Elsewhere in Cebu province, 77 individuals were rescued in Carmen town and 18 in Catmon town in the north, 66 in Minglanila town in the south and 85 people in northwest Asturias, said Neil Sanchez, spokesman of the Regional Disaster Risk and Management Unit.

Most of the residents were living along the river, although they had long been warned to move to safer ground. /Jucelle Cuyos and Jhunnex Napallacan with reports from Carine Asutilla, Candeze Mongaya and Norman Mendoza

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TAGS: Consolacion town, floodwaters, Metro Cebu, Rain
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