Agaton and poor drainage = floods in Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/19 January) – Rains brought about by tropical depression Agaton  and poor drainage system triggered flooding in almost all barangays here and rendered a major road in this city impassable to light vehicles  on Sunday.

At least 798 families or 3,302 persons were forced to seek shelter in 17 evacuation centers after ankle-deep waters swamped most of the city’s low-lying barangays, according to the Cagayan de Oro Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) yesterday.

And because the forecast for tropical depression Agaton remains uncertain, Marical Casino Rivera, city information officer said the CDRRMC ordered the suspension of  classes in all pre-school and elementary schools both private and public schools in the city on Monday.

Rivera said high school classes in eight of the city’s 80 barangays are also suspended tomorrow.

“According to PAGASA, there will still be intermittent rains tomorrow. So we made sure the children will not be unnecessarily exposed to the rains,” Rivera said.

Anne Fortich, PAGASA senior weather specialist said Agaton dumped 37.1 millimeters of rain in Cagayan de Oro from 9am to 8pm Sunday.

Fortich said they expect Agaton will still trigger intermittent rains.

The CDRRMC said the rains triggered flooding in almost all low-lying barangays yesterday.

Rivera said the administration of Mayor Oscar Moreno inherited the problem of poor drainage system.

Rising waters rendered a portion of C.M. Recto Avenue, a major city thoroughfare, impassable to light vehicles and passenger jeepneys on Sunday.

The flood along C.M. Recto Avenue resulted to the evacuation of 35 students and teachers who were having a meeting at the Mindanao University of Science and Technology.

Firemen on ambulances and fire trucks rescued the students and teachers who were trapped on the second floor of one of the school buildings, according to the CDRRMC.

Rivera said the city government is also distributing doxycycline tablets to check any outbreak of leptospirosis, a deadly disease from animal urine especially rats.

She said they were worried of an leptospirosis outbreak especially after they saw residents wading barefoot in the floodwaters. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)