MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) warned residents living along the forecasted track of Tropical Storm Basyang (Sanba) to prepare for possible flooding and landslides.
“Again, we warn our countrymen to monitor their surroundings because plain areas may just be experiencing light rains, heavier rains are expected in the mountain areas caused by Orographic Lifting,” Pagasa chief Dr. Esperanza Cayanan said in a press conference organized by NDRRMC on Monday, February 12.
Residents living in river banks should do all precautionary measure to avoid accidents brought by mudflows from elevated areas. She also warned of the “damming effect” caused by logs which could cause flash floods.
Cayanan also urged affected residents to take initiative in checking the hazard maps available in every local government units (LGU).
“Pakitingnan na po natin kung tayo po ba ay nakatapat doon sa areas at risk, kailangan po nating tingnan para aware tayo sa mga posibleng mangyari,” Cayanan said. (Let us check whether our we are inside the areas at risk for us to prepare on possible outcomes brought by the storm)
Tropical Storm Basyang slightly accelerated late Monday afternoon, February 12, as it moved closer to Eastern Mindanao.
In a bulletin issued at 5:00 pm on Monday, state weather bureau Pagasa said Basyang is already 435 kilometers east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, moving west northwest at 23 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 22 km/h.
The tropical storm continues to have maximum winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. In a news briefing late Monday morning, Pagasa had said it is unlikely that Basyang would intensify further into a severe tropical storm.
Department of Interior Local Government Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center (DILG CODIX) placed at least 21 areas under the Charlie alert as of 1 pm on Monday. (READ: PAGASA to Visayas, Mindanao: Prepare for Basyang)
The provinces under Charlie Alert are the following:
- Agusan del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- Compostela Valley
- Davao del Norte
- Davao Oriental
- Lanao del Norte
- Lanao del Sur
- Misamis Occidental
- Misamis Oriental
- Negros Occidental
- Negros Oriental
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
- Zamboanga del Norte
- Zamboanga del Sur
Minimum critical activities that LGUs should be enforcing in affected areas include the following:
- Secure power, water supply, and communications
- Start preemptive evacuation
- Announce forced evacuation
- Prepare list of the evacuees
- Distribute relief packs and conduct mass feeding
- Stop traffic in landslide-prone areas
Alert level Charlie is based on Oplan Listo (Operation Plan Alert), a disaster preparedness manual that provides mayors and other local government disaster management agencies a checklist that enumerates what should be done before, during, and after typhoons.
This checklist seeks to “minimize mistakes that may cost lives and grave destruction to properties.” It includes flowcharts that correspond to 3 phases of critical preparedness actions – Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. It also provides a tropical cyclone information board and reference boxes and minimum actions to guide mayors.
Alpha and Bravo alert
Meanwhile, DILG-CODIX has raised alert level Bravo over 6 provinces which is expected to experience moderate to occasionally heavy rain:
- Davao del Sur
- Dinagat Islands
- North Cotabato
- Southern Leyte
- Shariff Kabunsuan
- Zamboanga Sibugay
DILG-CODIX also raised the alert level Alpha over 7 provinces.
- Sultan Kudarat
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) activated its Quick Response Teams (QRT) in provinces along the track of the tropical storm.
DSWD said it has 410,835 family food packs, available food and non-food items amounting to over P476 million, and standby funds amounting to over P519 million.
“We assure the public that the DSWD is prepared to face the effects of storm Basyang. We have already coordinated with our field offices and they ensured us that there are sufficient relief items and mode of transportation for the delivery of goods in the areas that will be hit,” DSWD Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel A. Leyco said. – Rappler.com
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