Metro Cebu execs seek lasting solution to floods
CEBU CITY — A portion of Legaspi Street in downtown Cebu City collapsed on Wednesday afternoon as heavy rains that spawned floods continued for the third day.
The sunken area was about 15 meters long and caused the adjacent concrete fence of Patria de Cebu to crumble. Patria de Cebu, a property of the Archdiocese of Cebu, was undergoing reconstruction.
In a statement posted on its social media site, the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said a stretch of Legaspi Street in Barangay Santo Niño caved in around 3 p.m. No one was hurt.
CDRRMO chief Harold Alcontin said the soil in the area had softened due to nonstop rains since Monday.
Heavy rains in Metro Cebu prompted local government and school officials to suspend classes in several schools to allow students to go home early and avoid floods and the ensuing gridlock.
Since Monday, the cities of Cebu and Mandaue have been experiencing heavy rains that transformed major streets into waterways. Several establishments and houses were swamped as floodwater rose to as high as 2 meters (6.5 feet).
In Mandaue City, at least 130 families (375 people) were evacuated due to flooding in the villages of Ibabao-Estancia and Maguikay.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes on Wednesday ordered the suspension of in-person classes in all levels in the city’s public schools.
In Cebu City, Councilor Jerry Guardo, chair of the council’s committee on infrastructure, said their reports indicated that floods hit areas in the northern section of the city.
Initial investigation showed that poor drainage system and the heavy development in the city’s northern section contributed heavily to the flooding.
“Water [kept rising] because many [sections] of these flooded areas [had been paved with] concrete. It’s hard for water to subside,” said Guardo.
Among the villages worst hit were Mabolo, Apas, Banilad and Talamban, all of which lead to Mandaue City.
“What happened on Monday was really unusual. Because contrary to our expectations, the downtown area of Cebu City was not flooded. The northern portion of the city was,” Guardo said.
He said his office and the Department of Public Works and Highways and the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works would investigate Monday’s severe flooding.
“We want to come up with short-term and long-term solutions to the problem,” he said.