GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) raised the “blue alert” status in the region on Monday morning following the entry of Tropical Depression Chedeng in the Philippine area of responsibility.
Minda Morante, OCD-12 regional director, said the move was in anticipation of possible emergencies like flooding and landslides due to the possible “widespread moderate to heavy rains” as a result of the weather disturbance.
The “blue alert” status, which was declared by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)-12’s operations center, took effect starting 8 a.m. “until further notice.”
“(This is to) maximize coordination and monitoring among all levels of DRRM councils,” Morante said in an advisory.
The official said the NDRRMC operations center initially raised the alert status from white to blue on Sunday as a result of the national pre-disaster risk assessment.
She said tropical depression entered the Philippine area of responsibility at around 11 a.m. Sunday off the eastern part of Surigao del Sur.
Under a “blue alert” status, half of the personnel of disaster management agencies would be on standby for contingencies.
Local disaster councils and member-agencies of the RDRRMC are mandated to monitor the situation in their areas of responsibility and immediately submit reports on incidents that might occur.
Morante said concerned local government units and residents of settlements in low-lying areas or near riverbanks and had experienced flooding should be more vigilant.
She said they should conduct regular monitoring of the water levels of major rivers and tributaries and prepare for possible pre-emptive evacuation.
The official said residents situated at the base of sliding slopes and ridges should watch out for manifestations of rockslides and landslides.
“All local DRRMCs are advised to closely monitor your respective areas of responsibility, undertake appropriate preparedness measures and report any related incidents to the RDRRMC operations center,” Morante said.
Ronnie Mamites, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) here, said in a radio interview that the weather disturbance is expected to bring cloudy skies with isolated rain showers in the area.
He said Chedeng is expected to make landfall in Davao Oriental on Tuesday morning and could bring rains in the next three days.
PAGASA had placed several areas in Mindanao, including the eastern part of Sarangani, under Signal No. 1 due to the entry of Chedeng, he said. (PNA)