Cebu News

Typhoon leaves 1 dead, 1 missing

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Tropical Depression Queenie, which had wind strength of 55 kilometers per hour near its center, hit southern Cebu yesterday leaving behind one dead, another missing, damaged bridges, houses washed out, water systems destroyed and several areas flooded.

Hundreds of individuals situated near the coastal areas and rivers were also displaced.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office reported three houses washed out in barangay Poblacion 1, Malabuyoc town, after the Saliring River overflowed. One of the houses belonged to Alona Baldado, 50, who was later found dead after being trapped inside.

Her seven-year-old son Jason Baldado survived by climbing up a coconut tree. A video of Jason’s ordeal was captured and uploaded by Janetta Fabrigar Obiasada to her Facebook account and immediately drew many viewers.

The owners of the two other houses, Tony Lecera, a father of two; and Eduardo Satar, a father of five, were successfully rescued.

As reported by the PDRRMO, heavy downpour yesterday caused the Saliring River’s water level to swell at dawn yesterday affecting 40 houses in the nearby Poblacion 1 and another 40 houses in Barangay Sto. Niño.

Thirty individuals in Poblacion 1 were evacuated and stayed at the residence of Barangay Captain Manolito Quiñanola while others were evacuated to the town’s gym and barangay halls.

In Argao town, a hundred individuals from Barangay Jomgao and 50 families from the barangays Bulasa, Langtad, Canbanua and Poblacion were evacuated to the Cerge Remonde Sports Complex and barangay halls.

Two footbridges in Jomgao were rendered impassable after being damaged by the floodwaters while roads in Barangays Bala-as, Linut-od and Calagasan were blocked by landslides.

A creek in Santander town also overflowed and damaged the town’s water system. As of press time, power supply in the town was cut off. Fallen trees blocked national road but the local government unit immediately conducted a clearing operation, the Provincial Information Office reported.

Typhoon Queenie destroyed 10 houses and damaged 20 others in barangay Tapon in Dalaguete town. It also damaged 30 bancas in barangay Coro and one vessel worth P2.5 million assigned to the Bantay Dagat.

At least 70 families were evacuated to the Dalaguete Sports Center.

In Samboan town, a swelling creek caused damage to Samboan’s famous Aguinid Falls in Barangay Tangbo while the town’s water system was also damaged.

Fisherman Rolando Mayorga, of Barangay Poblacion, who went missing yesterday morning, was found alive floating in the seawaters near barangay Bonbon in the same town. However, another fisherman Celesiano Looc, 45, was still missing yesterday after he disappeared Wednesday afternoon.

PDRRMO head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., said the lone fatality saddened him, saying that the province failed to achieve the zero casualty aim.

He said some people were just ‘too complacent’ and that education in the community level is still a challenge.

“It’s an eye-opener to us. Dugay kaayo momata ang tawo. Kinahanglan pa gyod siguro, kung puwede pusposan. No matter how strong ta diri sa Provincial level, sa municipal, but disaster reduction must be community-based,” he said.

Tribunalo added that the busted water system after the typhoon hit should also be a lesson in construction.

The province has been conducting trainings in the LGUs as part of its pursuit towards resiliency and disaster preparedness following the onslaught Typhoon Yolanda which had an average strength of 195 miles per hour last year.

Badian  sinkhole

In Badian town, a sinkhole formed on a barangay road in Barangay Banhigan, allegedly triggered by the intense rainfall yesterday morning.

The sinkhole, estimated at five meters across and 10 meters deep, was discovered by residents past 6 a.m. after they heard the sound of something collapsing, said DENR spokesman Eddie Llamedo.

The sinkhole is still active and DENR advised the LGU to evacuate residents of houses nearby.

Llamedo explained that there could be a river system underneath the ground. The intense rainfall also weakened the crown or surface of the soil causing it to liquefy and cave in to form the sinkhole.

The type of soil in the area is classified as marl that is made of limestone and clay. It easily absorbs water and oversaturates. This kind of soil may collapse due to rains and earthquakes.

“We already declared 70 to 100 meters radius from the sinkhole as a danger zone and we asked to cordon the area as well as let the LGU find an alternative route for the meantime kay agianan man ni og tricycle,” Llamedo said.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-7 issued a ground subsidence threat advisory yesterday morning to Badian Mayor Rubert Librando. DENR also told Librando to request for a ground penetrating radar survey to thoroughly determine the extent of the sink hole.

“Also, we advised to monitor closely the area and restrict residents from going near the newly-developed sink hole,” Llamedo said.

Power lost

In Cebu City, several areas experienced power outage yesterday after winds brought by the typhoon destroyed some transformers.

Councilor Dave Tumulak, chairman of the City Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the affected barangays were portions of Bulacao, Guadalupe, Banilad, Nivel Hills Lahug, Tisa, Apas, Babag and Pelaez Street.

He said huge trees were uprooted in Lorega and lower Malubog, also causing power interruption in the said areas.

He added that the city’s radio repeaters, including those with the police, disaster office, and City Traffic Operations Management bogged down, making their emergency response operations difficult.

Tumulak said the city deployed six Kaohsiung buses yesterday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. traversing along Bulacao, Guadalupe, Labangon and Colon rescuing stranded passengers because there were few public utility vehicles plying routes.

He said there were no “severe” incidents reported because the residents were vigilant and prepared enough with typhoon Queenie.

Queenie not the last

Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Mactan director Oscar Tabada yesterday said Typhoon Queenie is expected to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility by tonight.

However, Queenie may not be the last typhoon to hit the country after the PAGASA radar system spotted a tropical depression over the Pacific Ocean, although it is still far from the PAR and may still dissolve.

The said typhoon is expected to be stronger than Typhoon Queenie and is expected to enter the PAR between December 5 to 7 and will be named Typhoon  Ruby. — Kristine B. Quintas, Christell Fatima M. Tudtud, Flor Z. Perolina, Bryner L. Diaz, Ria Mae Y. Booc/BRP (FREEMAN)


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