Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 (12:10 a.m.) – Relentless rains caused by Tropical Storm “Mario” brought heavy flooding to UST and nearby areas, shutting down the campus and claiming the life of a second-year Medicine student.

Floodwaters–reaching up to chest-deep at Singian Drive in front of St. Martin de Porres Building which houses the College of Nursing, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, and the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery–forced the University administration to suspend classes on Friday (Sept. 19) and Saturday (Sept. 20).

Second-year Medicine student Siegfreid Arcilla, 22, was dead on arrival due to electrocution when he was brought to UST Hospital at around 5 p.m. Friday. Arcilla was on flooded España Street near Gate 1, the entrance to the campus near the Roque Ruaño (Engineering) Building. A live wire caused the accident. A 19-year-old student of Far Eastern University who passed by the same area was brought to UST Hospital earlier.

The water level reached thigh-deep at Tamayo Drive near the Grandstand where the UST security office is located, said desk officer Fernando de Leon. Lacson Avenue had knee-deep flooding. Waist-deep floodwaters were reported at Quezon Drive in front of St. Raymund de Peñafort Building, which houses the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) and the College of Commerce, as well as España Boulevard.

The Office of the Secretary General suspended classes and office work early on Friday (Sept. 19) before floodwaters rose. Officials later decided to suspend classes on Saturday (Sept. 20) to allow the cleanup of the campus and to make sure facilities are in proper condition.

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Security office chief Joseph Badinas told the Varsitarian some trees inside the campus had fallen. Vehicles and other assets were moved to higher ground and all security personnel on campus were put on guard to protect University property from damage, he added.

Artlets Assistant Dean Narcisa Tabirara announced on Facebook that Journalism and English Language seniors on retreat at the Caleruega Dominican Retreat Center in Batangas would stay there until noon Saturday to ensure their safety.

The Office for Admissions postponed the scheduled UST Entrance Test on Saturday at T. del Rosario High School in Balanga, Bataan, and extended the submission of application requirements to Sept. 24, Wednesday.

Other activities such as those of the NSTP and the Graduate School Colloquium were also postponed.

Meanwhile, Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City is housing some 2,500 evacuees from nearby areas such as Tatalon and Araneta Avenue and is in need of food, water, clothes, and portable toilets, according to Fr. Jeff Aytona, O.P. The Central Student Council has called for volunteers to assemble starting 6 a.m. Saturday to help in relief work at Sto. Domingo. For inquiries, call (02)7126271 to 74. Arriane F. Merez and Jerome P. Villanueva


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