NDRRMC: Prepare for heavy floods, landslides due to Tropical Depression Urduja
MANILA, Philippines – Residents in areas that are expected to be hit by Urduja should prepare even if the tropical depression is moving slowly towards the country, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
In a press conference on Wednesday, December 13, NDRRMC officials advised local government units and residents to monitor the track of Tropical Depression Urduja and prepare for possible heavy flooding and landslides.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no areas have been placed under tropical cyclone warning signals as Urduja is still far from land. Urduja is expected to bring moderate to heavy rain within its 350-kilometer diameter. In particular, Bicol and the Visayas will be affected.
“Yun ang pinakiusap natin sa ating mga kababayan, lalong lalo na sa mga nakatira sa mga bahain na lugar o sa mga lugar na prone sa pagguho o landslide ay maging alerto,” NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense administrator Ricardo Jalad said. (We've requested the public – especially those living low-lying and landslide-prone areas – to stay alert)
At 10 am today, the center of Urduja was located at 405 kilometers East of Guiuan, Eastern Samar with a maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center and the gustiness of up to 65 kilometers per hour, moving north northwest at 7 kilometers per hour.
“May kahinaan ang bagyo na ito, subalit inaasahan natin na kapag ito ay bumitaw doon sa tail-end of the coldfront na inaasahan natin, ito ay inaasahan nating bibilis,” Pagasa said. (The tropical depression is weak but we are expecting it to move faster soon as it detaches from the tail-end of the coldront.)
The state weather bureau also estimated the rainfall amount from moderate to heavy within the 350-kilometer diameter of the tropical depression.
Meanwhile, the Department of Interior Local Government Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center (DILG CODIX) placed at least 20 areas under the Charlie alert as of 1 pm on Wednesday.
The regions under Charlie Alert are the following:
- Camarines Sur
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Occidental Mindoro
- Oriental Mindoro
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 8 provinces which is expected to experience moderate to occasionally heavy rain:
- Camarines Norte
- Dinagat Islands
DILG-CODIX also raised the alert level Alpha over 6 provinces.
- Metropolitan Manila
- Negros Occidental
- Surigao del Norte
NDRRMC has already advised its regional and local councils to take necessary preparedness measures ahead of the expected landfall of Urduja in Eastern Visayas on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
The NDRRMC advised the public to monitor weather updates and advisories and preapre within their communities. Residents in areas to be affected are encouraged to heed the advice of local officials on evacuation when necessary. – Rappler.com