Bicol on high alert for flash floods, landslidesBy Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY—Bicol disaster authorities here were on high alert for flash floods and landslides after moderate to heavy rains spawned by the prevailing tail end of the cold front (TECF) pelted the region from Thursday till Friday, a regional disaster official said.
Bernardo Alejandro, Office of Civil Defense-Bicol head, said a cumulative 18 millimeter rainfall brought by the TECF was dumped on early Friday in Albay and neighboring provinces.
He said officials were closely monitoring affected communities near river channels and mountain slopes, specifically those surrounding Mount Mayon in Albay, Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon, low-lying towns in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, and in Catanduanes prone to floods and landslides.
In Albay, heavy rainfall prompted the suspension of classes in the elementary and secondary levels while local disaster councils in the province’s 15 towns and three cities were advised to strictly enforce the “no crossing of rivers and flooded waters” rule in their respective areas.
Swelling of the river channel in Oas town in Albay was observed as of Friday afternoon by local disaster councils.
Fisherfolk have been advised by the state weather bureau not to venture into fishing due to strong gale force winds brought by the northeast monsoon prevailing in the eastern seaboards of the Camarines provinces, Albay and Sorsogon.
The gale force wind creates 3 to 4 meters high waves that endanger small seacrafts venturing at sea, said Alejandro.