The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) advised the public Friday, Feb.19 to prepare for a stormy weekend as severe tropical storm “Auring” is expected to bring heavy rains, which may cause flashflood and landslides.
Affected areas may include Mimaropa (Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) or Region 4B, the Visayas, and Eastern Mindanao.
NDRRMC Assistant Secretary Casiano Monilla, deputy administrator for operations, emphasized the importance of local government units’ evacuation planning and stockpiling ahead of Auring’s expected landfall over the eastern coast of Caraga Region on Sunday morning, Feb. 21.
“With the country still in the middle of the rainy season, complicated by the La Nina phenomenon, there is a high risk of flooding and landslides occuring in various susceptible areas,” Monilla said in a weather update meeting held at the NDRRMC Operations Center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Citing a report from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Monilla said tropical cyclone warning signal number 1 was raised over Davao Oriental; Davao de Oro particularly in the towns of Pantukan, Maragusan, New Bataan, Compostela, and Monkayo; Agusan Del Sur particluarly in Sibagat, Bayugan City, Prosperidad, Talacogon, San Francisco, Rosario, Bunawan, Santa Josefa, and Trento; and Surigao del Sur.
Auring is forecasted to take a generally northwestward path traversing Caraga, he said.
Light to moderate and at times heavy rains will be experienced in Caraga, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte from Friday to Saturday afternoon.
From Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning, heavy to intense rains will be experienced over Caraga, and moderate to heavy rains with at times intense rains will be felt in Eastern Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and davao de Oro.
There will be also light to moderate rains and at times heavy rains over the rest of Visayas, the rest of Northern Mindanao, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato, and Davao City.
Monilla said local officials of communities located in landslide-prone areas, flood plains, and riverbanks must take necessary preparations to prevent any casualty.
He also reminded local government officials to ensure that minimum health standards such as wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing, regular disinfecting, and practice of proper hygiene, are observed in evacuation areas to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).