Floods mark rainy season start in Cebu
CEBU CITY—The start of the rainy season was marked by floods in several streets in the cities of Mandaue and Cebu after a downpour that started at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.
But an official of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) based on Mactan Island, Cebu warned of more flooding in July when the La Niña phenomenon, characterized by heavy rains, starts to make its full impact felt.
Engineer Alfredo Quiblat, acting chief meteorologist of Pagasa-Mactan, urged the public and local officials to prepare for flash floods, landslides, storm surge and even lightning strikes in the wake of La Nina.
Wednesday’s rain started at 3 a.m. The amount of rain was measured by the Pagasa station in Mactan to be 40 mm.
But it was enough to bring flooding to portions of Mandaue City, Cebu province. A.S. Fortuna Street in Mandaue was not passable to small vehicles, said Mandaue City information officer Roger Paller.
Paller said officials had thought that the problem on flooding on A.S. Fortuna Street had been solved with the installation of box culverts at the junction of A.S. Fortuna Street and MC Briones Street.
But an old drainage on Sacris Road caused the water to flow back to A.S. Fortuna Street, bringing floods, he said.
Other flooded areas in Mandaue City were Purok 2 and Purok 6 of Barangay Cubacub, the Cambaro-Looc area, Sitio Abra in Barangay Alang-alang and the boundary of Barangays Casili and Tawason.
Paller said 60 families, consisting of 340 individuals, who lived in low-lying area in Purok 2 and Purok 6 have been evacuated due to rising floodwaters.
When the water subsided, he added, the residents went back to their homes.
In the Cambaro-Looc area, the existing drainage was reportedly blocked by buildings owned by some private companies.
In Alang-Alang, the culverts installed through a road improvement project of the Department of Public Works and Highways failed to connect to the existing drainage of the barangay, Paller added.
In the Casili-Tawason area, Paller said they would check reports that the flood was caused by a subdivision in the area.
The rains also caused smaller floods in downtown Cebu City but these did not cause traffic congestion.
Quiblat said at least two indicators prompted Pagasa to declare the start of the rainy season.
One is the five consecutive days of rains in the western section of the country, which had brought 25 mm or more of rainfall and three consecutive days of not less than 1 mm of rainfall per day.
Another is the shift in wind directions and emergence of southwest monsoon (habagat).
In Cebu, Quiblat said the volume of rainfall measured for the month of May exceeded the previous record of 100.6 millimeters due to the heavy downpour on Wednesday.
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