DUMAGUETE CITY — Officials in this capital of Negros Oriental are on alert against possible flash flood due to the erratic weather condition and heavy rains particularly in the nearby mountains of Valencia town.
Engr. Jose Chu, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), on Wednesday said that flooding already occurred in a loop road leading to Barangay Banilad here.
For days now, he said they have been on standby alert, alongside the police and rescue groups, to monitor the waters of Banica River that could overflow anytime due to heavy downpour.
Chu said they responded to several alerts of rising waters since Tuesday, starting at 5:00 p.m., 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.
According to Chu, they were monitoring Banica River to effect forced evacuation of residents living along the river banks in the event of flash floods.
On Wednesday, the CDRRMO again deployed rescue vehicles and personnel as they received report that the Okoy and Banica Rivers were flooded although it was not raining in Valencia.
However, they were already late as flooding already occurred at the loop road leading to the slaughterhouse in Barangay Banilad.
Around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, the road had turned into a mini-river with vehicles and people still attempting to pass through.
While they are supposed to be on 24-hour alert, Chu said nobody had informed local officials of the flooding. He, however, assured that Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo “is on top of the situation”.
The area has been a perennial problem for the city government with no solution in sight as yet, even though Mayor Remollo had already assured there is a massive drainage plan to correct the problem. The area is the loop road that leads to the proposed new government center in the adjacent barangay of Bajumpandan. Judy Flores Partlow/PNA-northboundasia.com