Philippine tropical cyclones

Cebu City Mayor Rama orders preemptive evacuation over Tropical Depression Agaton

Ryan Macasero
Cebu City Mayor Rama orders preemptive evacuation over Tropical Depression Agaton

AGATON. A boy takes cover from the heavy downpour inside a box in Cebu City on Saturday, April 9.

Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler

Mayor Mike Rama says it's better to be 'overprepared than underprepared'

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama ordered the preemptive evacuation of residents in vulnerable areas as Tropical Depression Agaton entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday, April 9.

According to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), the low pressure area had already brought 500,000 barrels of rain per square kilometer to Cebu from April 7 to April 8. 

This triggered flooding in Barangay Mabolo. The rain water has also softened the ground, city officials said.

This was the first area ordered evacuated due to possible collapse of structures in the barangay. 

“The thing that occured in Mabolo, for me, is just the tip of the iceberg,” Rama said. 

While only one neighborhood in Mabolo had been evacuated so far, Rama asked his personnel to identify other areas that need to be evacuated.

According to PAGASA, the tropical depression has sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

As of 12 noon, Agaton was located 125 kilometers east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, barely moving. (READ: Tropical Depression Agaton barely moving off Eastern Visayas)

The state weather bureau said it is likely to stay a tropical depression, but there is a “marginal possibility of intensification into a tropical storm.”

While the possibility of the tropical depression intensifying further is low, Rama said it is better to be over prepared than under prepared. 

“It is always better to be over prepared than underprepared. And it should not be taken lightly,” Rama told reporters on Saturday.

“And when destruction will follow, from the mountain down to the river and water will be on level. I don’t wish for bodies to become dead because of inaction. That’s why I’m having this emergency meeting in my office. All are being enjoined to do their share,” Rama added.

Much of the Visayas is only beginning to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Odette, which pummeled Cebu last December 2021. (READ: Typhoon Odette: Damage, areas hit, and relief updates)

At least 220 people were killed by Typhoon Odette in the Central Visayas, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Rama said he would meet with local water supplier Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) and Visayan Electric Company (VECO) to ensure there would not be a repeat of the massive and prolonged power outages and water shortage that happened during the last typhoon. (READ: Wala’y tubig: How difficult is it to find drinking water in Cebu City?) – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

author

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com