Fisherman killed, hundreds stranded due to heavy rains in Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines–A fisherman was killed while hundreds were stranded after water level rose in parts of Cebu City and Metro Cebu after more than two hours of raining on Monday afternoon.
Benancio Pepito, 67, died from burns on his body after he was hit by lighting while on his way to buy bread near his house in Barangay Poblacion, Daanbantanyan town in Cebu’s northern tip.
Parts of Cebu City were submerged in knee-deep flooding due to heavy rains that started shortly after noon on Monday.
Rainwater continued to flood parts of S. Osmena Street until 7 p.m., slowing down flow of vehicle on the national highway and on nearby roads.
The nearby Mahiga Creek overflowed while flooding reached the parking area of SM mall. Mahiga Creek separates Cebu City from Mandaue City.
Parts of the mountain barangay of Busay and the South Road Properties (SRP) in Cebu City lost power supply when it rained while a tree fell at the Quijada compound in Guadalupe, said Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak.
“Veco linemen are still working to identify what caused the interruption and restore power,” he said.
Localized thunderstorm caused the more than an hour-long raining, strong winds and lighting, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on its website.
Thunderstorm affected the cities of Cebu, Talisay, Naga, Toledo, Lapu Lapu, Mandaue and Danao and the municipalities of Minglanilla, Cordova, Balamban, Asturias, Consolacion, Lilo-ain Compostela, Tuburan, Sogod, Catmon.
“All are advised to take precautionary measures against heavy rains, strong winds, lightning and possible flash floods,” said the PAGASA advisory.
Lawyer Rafael Yap of City Traffic Operation and Management (Citom) said flooding was felt in downtown areas in Cebu City specifically of Jakosalem, Legazpi, Bonifacio, Colon and Junquera streets.
Water level was also high along Archbishop Reyes Avenue near the Pagibig building; A. Soriano, Urot and Juan Luna Streets at the North Reclamation Area; J Y Square and Salinas Road in Lahug; and in parts of Barangay Talamban.
In the southern part of the city, flooding was experienced along the South Coastal Road, Kinasang-an, Mambaling and San Roque Roads.
Tumulak, head of the city’s command center, said they sent out kaoshiung buses to “rescue” students from the Bagong Lipunan Elementary School in Carreta and the Mabolo National High School after nearby creeks started to overflow and flooded the school grounds.
Parents started calling and sending text messages to the city’s command center to raise a concern on the safety of their children.
“We deployed two kaoshiung buses to send the kids home,” he said.
After making sure that the kids were safe, Tumulak said, they proceeded to the nearby SM mall to rescue stranded passengers.
He said several public utility jeepneys conked out while along A. Soriano Street after the nearby Mahiga Creek overflowed. Floodwater in the area reached above knee-level.
“Sudden rise in water level caught us by surprise. It was raining hard in the mountains that everything went down and flooded urban barangays,” he said.
By 5 p.m., Tumulak said, they added five more buses to ferry stranded passengers from the vicinity of SM mall to downtown Cebu City, bringing the total number of vehicles plying the route to seven.
Two buses each were also deployed to ferry passengers to the southern and northern parts of the city.
Flooding remained along S. Osmena Road and the nearby Baclig Street located inside the Cebu International Port (CIP) compound after 6 p.m.
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