Certain vicinities in Metro Cebu experienced knee-deep flooding after 2 hours of heavy rains last Monday afternoon, July 27, 2015. Affected areas were Baclig St., Osmeña Boulevard, Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Salinas Drive as well as around JY Square Mall, and parts of North Reclamation and Talamban in the north. Flooding also occurred in Kinasang-an Road in Pardo, Mambaling, San Roque and the South Coastal Road which stretches from Cebu City to Talisay City with an underground tunnel connecting to Mandaue City. Streets in the downtown area were also flooded. The surrounding area of SM City Cebu area was also flooded but mainly due to the overflowing of the Mahiga Creek.
The flood caused many to be stranded at offices, commercial centers and even schools. Situated near creeks that also overflowed due to hours of non-stop rain, the Bagong Lipunan Elementary School in Carreta and the Mabolo National High School were flooded, causing students to be stranded and prompting the government to send 2 Kaoshiung buses to bring students home safely.
Afterwards, the buses were sent to rescue people who were stranded within the vicinity of SM City. An additional 5 Kaoshiung buses were sent to the same area by 5:00 PM while another 2 buses were deployed to other flooded areas in the metro. Cebu City Councilor and head of Cebu City’s command center, David Tumulak, said the flooding was caused by heavy rains in the mountain areas which flowed to the lower terrain.
Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that a thunderstorm covering several areas of the eastern side of the province created the rain and strong winds. This came after PAG-ASA announced a week ago that rain was expected to be last shorter and be less frequent as Cebu and neighboring provinces were expected to be experiencing El Niño until early 2016 as discussed in our previous article, “PAG-ASA: El Niño is Back.” However the weather seems to have changed. PAG-ASA’s latest forecast says downpour of rain and thunderstorms are to be expected in the following days, particularly in the later parts of the day and evening.
The thunderstorm also caused several other misfortunes. Power was lost during the rain at the South Coastal Road while the wind toppled a tree in Guadalupe - thankfully, with no casualties. The only known casualty as of now was the death of a man who was struck by lightning, covering his body in burns and killing him, while he was out buying bread near his home in Daanbantayan.
Since the weather is pretty unpredictable these days, it’s best to prepare to be safe. Refer to the image below for the list of things you should keep this rainy season.