Man killed, mountain road blocked in Talisay with ‘Ofel’

Posted on October 25, 2012

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A landslide yesterday killed a 66-year-old man who went to bathe in a spring in Talisay City, the only fatality after tropical storm Ofel passed over northern Cebu.

Heavy rains also caused boulders and soil to fall on a mountain road, in barangay Camp 4 in Talisay City but one lane was cleared for two-way traffic by midmorning.

The Coast Guard cleared boats to travel to Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao after the weather bureau Pagasa lifted the storm warning at 11 a.m. in these areas, aside from Cebu, and Bohol.

The landslide victim, Ruben Tabura, was last seen heading for a spring to take a bath 150 meters from his home in barangay Jaclupan, Talisay City.

When he didn’t come home at 3 p.m., his family went loooking for him.

They noticed a caved-in portion by the spring and frantically dug until they found his body buried about one meter deep, said Jaclupan barangay captain Joel Orbiso. The site was described as a former quarry site for sand and gravel extraction.

SUSPENSION

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama who announced the suspension of classes in all levels in public and private schools the night before, defended his decision saying it was the right one to ensure the safety of school children.

“It’s better to be prepared,” he said amid some criticism that his announcement was an overreaction.

Rama said his decision was based on a recommendation of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council to reduce the “inconvenience” of students since the weater was very unpredictable.

Pagasa Mactan had described the coming storm the day before as a “dry cyclone” with minimal rain but said it’s path was also changing.

Since several private schools were on semestral break, the impact of the suspension order was less disruptive.

Mayor Rama, who arrived Wednesday noon from his trip to Rome for the canonizatin of Saint Pedro Calungsod, thanked members of the city’s disaster team for showing initiative and meeting the day before to monitor and prepare for the storm.

RESUME VOYAGES

The weather bureau lifted storm signals in Aklan, Iloilo and Masbate at 5 p.m. which means seay voyages to these areas can resume.

Pag-asa said storm Ofel accelerated while maintaining its strength as it moved out to the West Philippine Sea.

The center was 200 kilometers west of Manila at 4 p.m. yesterday with winds of 75 kph to 90 kph. Ofel is expected to be 530 km west of Vigan City, Ilocos Sur this afternoon.

Signal number 1 was still hoisted over Metro Manila, Bataan, Zambales, Cavite, Batangas, Northern part of Mindoro and Lubang Island.

TALISAY

In Camp 4, Talisay City only motorbikes and habal-habal riders could pass a mountain road hit by a landslide at 9 a.m. yesterday.

Big rocks blocked the road until one lane was cleared for traffic by midmorning by workers of QM Builders who were on site for a road expansion project.

The road in Camp 4 is the shortest route to reach interior mountain barangays of Sinsina nd Sudlon in Cebu City, and is used by various vehicles.

Jovencio Navencilla, 59, said he was at home when rocks fell and hit the front of his house by the road, causing minor damage.

“We’ve had landslides here before but not as big as this,” he told Cebu Daily News in Cebuano, adding that he and neibhors worry that the road widening project worsened it.

Barangay Captain Jun Cabingatan said QM Builders signed a contract last Sept. 17 committing to finish work in a month but after the deadline had passed, they were stilll on the job, making people wonder if they were quarrying the site.

Cabingatan said he would raise this concern to the mayor’s office.

MALAPASCUA

Six persons safely returned to Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan town, north Cebu after their pumpboat engine stalled shortly before midnight of Thursday.

The pumpboat owned by Evolution Dive Shop in Malapascua was preparing to anchor at 11:40 pm on Wednesday but its anchor didn’t hit the seafloor and the boat drifted with the strong waves, said Cebu Coast Guard station commander Captain Rolando Punzalan.

They crew was able to restart the engine and head back to the island before the Coast Guard send out a search and rescue party.

FLIGHTS

More flights were affected in Cebu on Thursday because of bad weather.

Two Air Philippines flight between Caticlan and Cebu scheduled at noon and 12:30 were cancelled.

A chartered flight of Far Eastern Airline from Cebu to Taipei scheduled at 12:10 pm was also held off because its passengers were stranded in Bohol province, said Jeff Bagolor of the Mactan Cebu International Airport operations department. /Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondent with Correspondent Joy Cherry S. Quito

 

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