Typhoon Queenie roams over Cebu South

Contributed photo by Raymond Ramirez

A year after typhoon Yolanda ravaged North Cebu, the province’s southern part experienced the wrath of another typhoon.

From making landfall in Surigao del Sur, Typhoon Queenie with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph crossed Central Philippines passing over Southern Visayas Thursday, November 27.

Its light to moderate rains brought significant rise in the river water levels causing widespread flooding in Cebu South towns. The towns include Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, Samboan, Ginatilan, Alegria, Moalboal, Badian, Dumanjug, Malabuyoc and Ronda.

In Malabuyoc town, Saliring River’s water level rose after heavy rains poured down starting 3:00 am.

Alona Baldado, 50 years old and a resident of Barangay Poblacion 1 was found dead trapped in her washed out home. She was with her son, Jason Baldado, 7 years old at the time the flood ravaged her home. But Jason was rescued after climbing onto a nearby coconut tree.

In this video clip, Jason Baldado, 7 years old, climbed a coconut tree to keep himself safe from the flood of the overflown Saliring River in Malabuyoc town that washed away their house this morning. HMR (PIO-Cebu) Ⓒ Janetta Fabrigar Obiasada

Jason was eventually rescued. However, his mother, Alona Baldado, reportedly behind the bamboo sheet where the boy was earlier situated, didn’t survive.

Their homes were completely washed out by typhoon Queenie’s flash floods.

Thirty to forty houses in Barangay Poblacion 1 and another 40 in Barangay Sto. Niño were affected by the flood. The two barangays are situated beside Saliring River.

Water levels in Argao and Boljoon rivers rose expanding rivers’ width beyond usual.

The 2-3 meter wide river in Boljoon reached the 10-15 feet high town bridge flooding nearby houses.

Heavy floods in Argao destroyed three foot bridges in barangays Jomgao and Canbanua.

One fisherman in Oslob town named Celesiano Looc, 45 years old was reported missing since November 26, 3:00 pm. Local officials are still conducting search and rescue operations for Celesiano.

Rolando Mayorga, a fisherman from barangay Poblacion, Samboan was reported missing in the morning of November 27. However, he was found alive floating along barangay Bonbon shores around 2:00 pm.
Landslides and fallen trees blocked roads in Argao, Dalaguete, Oslob, Sibonga and Santander.

Creeks in Santander and Samboan overflew causing damage in towns’ water systems.

Samboan’s famous Aguinid Falls sustained some damage due to the swelling of the town creek.

Each affected towns evacuated residents living in coastal areas and river banks to their sports complex, barangay halls and town centers.

The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office set out two teams to assist in rescue and clearing operations as well as conduct damage and needs assessment in the affected towns.

According to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration wather forecast, Typhoon Queenie is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Saturday, November 29.