By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
THIS week’s heavy rains have so far posed no serious threat in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental but city hall’s and the capitol’s disaster risk reduction and management teams have been mobilized and have continued round-the-clock monitorings.
This, even as experts warned of significant risks for more showers and thunderstorms and floodings in the coming days as a result of weather systems that have been affecting the country.
But so far, the most serious problem in the city was the road floodings particularly on portions of the highway from Kauswagan to Bulua.
The floodwaters that quickly receded after each heavy rain, were blamed on unfinished drainage construction projects funded by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“There were many complaints because the floodwaters caused much inconvenience,” said city hall spokesperson Maricel Rivera.
The downpours also posed no serious threat in Misamis Oriental, according to capitol spokesperson Nicole Managbanag.
Managbanag said Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano allowed town mayors and school principals to decide on whether to suspend classes or not because they knew the situation in the localities better than the provincial government.
Classes in only three public schools in the towns of Initao, Gitagum and Manticao were suspended yesterday because of the heavy rains.
Managbanag said there was no report of rising water levels near the schools but the town mayors opted to be on the safe side.
She said Emano once ordered the suspension of classes throughout the province because of bad weather but it turned out there were towns where there was no serious threat.
The situation was worse in other Mindanao areas like Maguindanao where classes in at least 23 schools in were hampered by floods brought by torrential rains.
Meriam Kawit, schools division superintendent of Maguindanao, said some 3,910 pupils and 103 teachers were affected based on yesterday’s count that was contained in her report to the Department of Education regional office in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
She said classes were suspended in 11 of the 23 schools because of the floodings and many were holding classes in the gymnasiums of their towns.
Luz Mercado, a weather forecaster at the El Salvador station of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said the rains that started on Tuesday were the result of the combination of tropical depression “Domeng,” the intertropical convergence zone, and a localized thunderstorm.
Yesterday, Pagasa forecast heavy rains in the western part of Luzon and parts of the Visayas as Domeng is seen to intensify into a tropical storm by Friday.
The tropical depression is seen to track through the east of Visayas and Luzon today.
Domeng, that maintained its strength and packed 45 kph winds near the center and gusts of up to 60 kilometers per hour as it moved northwest at 15 kilometers per hour, is also expected to enhance the southwest monsoon until Monday. (with reports from ferdinandh cabrera of mindanews, hg)