DALGTE outlasts “PABLO” sans casualtyWritten by Lizara Soloriano
The Municipality of Dalaguete heaved a sigh of great relief as Super Typhoon Pablo (International Name: Bopha) traversed the pre-dominantly agricultural town in the afternoon of December 4, 2012, Tuesday, leaving minimal traces of destruction and with no report of human casualty.
Based on the interpolation of available satellite data from the PAGASA of the Philippines, the Japan Meteorological Agency and the US National Weather Service, Typhoon Pablo would landfall in Dalaguete sometime between 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM of December 4. With this information at hand, Mayor Ronnie Cesante convened the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) with the instruction that residents along identified landslide-prone and flood-prone areas should be brought to safer grounds before the dark would set in. He likewise declared a municipal-wide suspension of all classes at all levels and further directed the Municipal employees not involved in the MDRRMC operation to go home at once and ensure the safety and well-being of their family. Mayor Cesante also ordered the suspension of all coal mining operations at the town’s highland barangays until after the dangers of the on-going typhoon would have come to pass.
Typhoon Pablo showed its initial fury at around 1:00 PM on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, where an old tree fell down somewhere in Sitio Balagtigi in the coastal barangay of Banhigan. Gusts moving at about 80 kph to 120 kph pounded the town every now and then at around 4:30 PM until at around 7:30 PM, knocking down electricity and water connections as well as one cellular phone company’s communication network. A 79-year-old coco wine retailer in Sitio Cambangyao, Barangay Poblacion narrowly cheated death as she got out of her house a few seconds before a coconut tree fell right into her bedroom area. Another resident in the highland barangay of Ablayan was injured in an almost similar incident.Some 17 families mainly from Sitio Suba, Poblacion seek refuge at the University of the Visayas-Dalaguete Campus while about 20 families found shelter at the Day Care Center in the highland barangay of Langkas as early as 9:00 AM. Other families are temporarily housed at designated evacuation areas in their respective villages, bringing to a total of no less than 166 families consisting of about 752 people pre-emptively evacuated to safer grounds in the afternoon of December 4.
The last devastating typhoon to pass through Dalaguete was on September 2, 1984 when Typhoon Nitang (International Name: Ike) with a maximum sustained wind of more than 230 kph pummelled the town and transformed Sitio Cambangyao in Poblacion and Sitio Solong-on in Tapon into a waterworld, downing the Poblacion to Tapon Bridge in the process. Water and electricity connections by then took days before being fully restored. Spot reports from MDRRMC in the morning of December 5, 2012, Wednesday, revealed a post-typhoon Dalaguete littered with broken branches and fallen trees, but other than the damaged ripraps at the eastern portion of the Dalaguete Wharf and at the Santa Cruz Beach, no major damage to infrastructure and utilities are being reported as water and electricity connections are generally restored at noon of the same day.