Visayas, Albay on alert vs heavy rains, floods
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas and in Albay province were placed on alert on Sunday for possible landslides and flooding due to a low pressure area (LPA) that was expected to bring moderate to heavy rains across many parts of the country in the next three days.
The combined effects of the shear line and the LPA, which were estimated at 465 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte province, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, was expected to bring a “significant” amount of rain in many LGUs in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao between Sunday and Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
On Sunday, rains of up to 200 millimeters (mm) were expected in Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte on Sunday; and up to 100 mm in the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes, the rest of the Visayas and the Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions, Pagasa said.
In Tacloban, Mayor Alfred Romualdez, who heads the city’s disaster risk reduction and management council, has placed the locality under “blue alert” status, which means all rescue and emergency responders, from the barangays up to the city level, are on alert for any untoward incidents brought by the LPA.
In Catarman, the provincial capital of Northern Samar, Mayor Francisco Rosales Jr., held a predisaster assessment meeting on Sunday to discuss what measures and actions to be taken in relation to the inclement weather.
The provincial Philippine Coast Guard based in Catarman has issued an advisory prohibiting seacraft and fishing boats of less than 250 gross tonnage from venturing to the seas due to the LPA.
In Jipapad town, a landslide occurred in Barangay Poblacion 3 over the weekend but no one was hurt in the incident, according to Vicky Abestros, municipal disaster risk reduction management officer.
Abestros said power supply was also down on Sunday in Jipapad, one of the landslide- and flood-prone areas in Eastern Samar.
In Naval, the capital of the island province of Biliran, Mayor Gretchen Espina appealed to fishermen not to venture to the seas to avoid accidents and advised farmers to harvest their matured palay and place them in a safe place.
Espina asked those living in landslide or flood-prone areas to immediately evacuate to the designated evacuation centers if the need arises.
In Bohol, acting Gov. Dionisio Victor Balite also advised residents, especially those living in low-lying and coastal areas, to take extra precautions against the threat of flooding and/or landslides.
He also directed the municipal mayors and their respective municipal disaster risk reduction and management councils to monitor their respective areas.
Anthony Damalerio, provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer, said they were closely monitoring the Loboc River and Candijay town for possible flooding.
In Cebu City, the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) met with responders from the city’s 80 barangays to check on their preparations and prepare all of their equipment and facilities in preparation for the flood.
CCDRRMO head Harold Alcontin said he also coordinated with the Cebu City Schools Division in preparing their public schools as possible evacuation sites, as the heavy rains could still bring landslides and flooding in a number of areas that would require the evacuation of residents.
In Albay, classes at all levels in public and private schools were ordered suspended on Monday due to expected heavy rains brought by the shear line and the LPA.
In an advisory on Sunday, Albay Gov. Edcel Greco Lagman said schools were encouraged to implement blended learning modality for their classes.
All LGUs were directed to execute evacuation if needed.