NDRRMC to public: Monitor weather updates this Christmas
MANILA, Philippines – Rainy Christmas or not, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Austere Panadero advised local officials and the public to be prepared for possible floods or landslides.
In a press conference held by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), PAGASA Weather Division chief Esperanza Cayanan said there are two scenarios for the low pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR):
- It may redevelop into a tropical depression and affect the Visayas and Mindanao.
- It may stay an LPA while proceeding toward southern Mindanao.
In case it develops into a tropical depression, Cayanan said it may make landfall on December 23 or 24. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
Given this weather forecast, Cayanan urged the public – especially those living in areas affected by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak) – to closely monitor PAGASA updates leading to Christmas. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Urduja)
"Since it may take the same route as Urduja, the areas that have recently experienced heavy flooding will be more prone to landslides and more floods," Cayanan said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Panadero echoed this reminder, adding that the NDRRMC preparedness cluster has already convened to prepare for the potential tropical cyclone, which would be given the local name Vinta.
"Sa ngayon pa lang, kami ay nananawagan sa lahat ng pamayanan na kailangan talagang maghanda. Alam po natin na nasa panahon na tayo ng kapaskuhan ngunit mahalaga rin na alerto sa lahat ng panganib o banta ng panganib," he said.
(As early as now, we are urging all communities to prepare. Although Christmas is already in our midst, it's important to be alert and prepared for all hazards or threats.)
Below are the preliminary preparedness measures that local councils, government agencies, and private organizations have agreed to put in place before Christmas, according to Panadero:
- remind local government units (LGUs) about the protocols during disasters
LGUs to prepare evacuation centers and preposition relief goods, in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
prepare warning systems ahead of potential landfall
follow procedures for preemptive evacuation of residents in danger zones
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in coordination with PAGASA, to install necessary measures aimed at reducing the number of stranded passengers in ports and terminals across the country
telecommunications companies to ensure fast reinstallation of communication lines during disasters
- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on standby in case of landslides, especially in major highways
According to Panadero, PAGASA will get a more definite forecast of the LPA's track by Wednesday, December 20. – Rappler.com