CLASSES SUSPENDED. A student prepares his umbrella before braving the rain in Cebu province on Wednesday (Feb. 1, 2023). Due to orange rainfall warning because of the shear line, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said 20 localities in Cebu province ordered the suspension of classes. (PNA photo by John Rey Saavedra)

CEBU CITY – Twenty localities in Cebu province that experienced heavy rains due to the shear line suspended their classes on Wednesday, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported.

Following the orange rainfall warning issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) covering the entire Cebu island, the cities of Danao, Talisay, Naga, Carcar and Toledo issued an order temporarily suspending classes.

Cordova, a town next to Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island, is the only island municipality that suspended its classes as no advisory was received by the PDRRMO from Bantayan Island and the Camotes island group.

Neil Sanchez, PDRRO head said the northern towns that suspended their classes were Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Compostela, Liloan and Consolacion while the southern municipalities were Minglanilla, San Fernando, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Balamban, Asturias, Tuburan and Argao.

He said they alerted all local DRRMOs to monitor their vicinity for possible flooding and landslide.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a “heavy rainfall warning” as the weather bureau’s Mactan, Bohol, and Guiuan Radar detected a shear line affecting Cebu island.

The advisory warned the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, Naga, Carcar. Danao, Mandaue, Talisay, and Toledo as well the town of Cordova, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla, San Fernando, Aloguinsan, Pinamungahan, Balamban, Asturias, and Tuburan of a possible effect of heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, Sanchez said in a forum Tuesday that the provincial government will focus on putting up more evacuation centers in the island barangays in case the barrio folks need to leave their houses due to flooding, landslide and coastal waves.

“LGU should construct resilient climate-defensible evacuation centers. Even before Senator (Christopher Lawrence) Bong Go’s law, Republic Act 10121 has provided that every LGU should establish their evacuation unit,” he said, saying that this law strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System, wants to veer away from turning schools, gymnasiums, churches, and other facilities into a temporary shelter for disaster victims.

He said the 2023 budget of Cebu province has included the fund for evacuation center construction. (PNA)