Dumaguete officials on alert vs flashflood

OFFICIALS in Dumaguete City are on alert status against possible flashfloods, due to heavy rains and the erratic weather condition, particularly in the nearby mountains of Valencia town.

Engr. Jose Chu, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said Wednesday, July 12, that flooding occurred in a loop road leading to Barangay Banilad in the city.

He said they have been on standby alert for days now, along with the police and rescue groups. They have been monitoring the waters of Banica River, which could overflow anytime due to heavy downpour.

Chu said they responded to several alerts of rising waters since July 11, after the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) operating the Palinpinon geothermal plants in Valencia notified them of heavy rains.

EDC has rain gauges that can tell the amount of rainfall at any given time.

Chu said they will declare forced evacuation of residents living along the Banica River in case flashfloods occur.

On Wednesday, the CDRRMO again deployed rescue vehicles and personnel after it received a report that the Okoy and Banica Rivers were flooded, although it was not raining in Valencia.

They were already late though, as flooding already occurred at the loop road leading to the slaughterhouse in Barangay Banilad.

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, the road turned into a mini-river, with vehicles and people still attempting to pass through.

While the CDRRMO is supposed to be on 24-hour alert, Chu said nobody had informed local officials of the flooding.

He assured, however, that Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo "is on top of the situation." (PNA)