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Fallen tree ties up traffic on major Cebu provincial artery

Fallen century-old tree blocks the national road in Barangay Perrelos, Carcar City, Cebu. No one was hurt in the incident Saturday, July 26, 2014. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY—A century-old tree Acacia fell in the middle of a road that runs through the length of Cebu province on Saturday morning, tying up traffic in Barangay (village) Perrelos on the outskirts of Carcar City, about 40 kilometers south of here.

By 10:30 a.m., personnel from the Department of Public Works and Highways managed to reopen the southbound lane, allowing vehicles heading to Carcar and other southern towns to pass. But Cebu City-bound vehicles could still not pass since the northbound lane remained blocked.

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The tree was among the old Acacia trees that line the road in Barangay Perrelos, creating a canopy on the two-lane road for which the village is known for.

The tree fell about 4:30 a.m. Saturday following heavy rain. Three houses were damaged but no one was hurt, said Perrelos barangay captain Richard Ybanez.

Although the rain was a factor in the toppling of the tree, officials noted that its roots were already in an advanced stage of decay due to the tree’s age.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources had included the tree among those it recommended to be cut due to the danger it posed, said Eddie Llamedo, DENR-Central Visayas spokesperson.

Isabelo Montejo, DENR regional director, ordered forester Felimon Embaldzado Jr. to assess the state of the trees to determine if any of these should already be cut because of rotten roots.

Using a chainsaw, DPWH personnel worked to chop the tree and open the two lanes so traffic could flow again.

Terry Suerte, the owner of one of the houses that were damaged, said she had been telling village officials that the tree was leaning toward her house and was recently informed of a plan to cut it down.

When Suerte opened her convenience store at 4:30 a.m., she heard what she thought was a burst of gunfire, prompting her to hit the ground.

“I thought someone fired a machine gun at my store so I crawled on the ground and hid behind a post,” said Suerte. When she peeked through the door, she saw the leaves of the Acacia tree and realized the tree had fallen.

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TAGS: acacia, Accidents, Cebu, tree
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