MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard has placed all its units in the Visayas and Mindanao under “full alert” as it also ordered them to brace for the heavy rains and possible flash floods that might result from the first weather disturbance to hit the country this year.
Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena, PCG commandant, also directed PCG stations, on Thursday, to coordinate with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in their respective areas of jurisdiction for possible search-and-rescue operations in communities that might be adversely affected by the low pressure area.
In a statement, he also advised operators of small vessels, including fishing boats, to “avoid sailing in the southeastern and eastern sections of the country where sea conditions are rough.”
Isorena also reminded interisland vessels they are “not permitted to travel once the low pressure area develops into a tropical depression and public storm signals are hoisted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.”
“Fishermen and operators of boats with open decks should exercise extra diligence in sailing. Aside from wearing safety gears while at sea, they are also advised to monitor weather developments as sea conditions are expected to be rough,” the PCG head added.