Davao region prepares for typhoon ‘Pablo’

By
December 03 2012

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Duterte-Carpio said, has been preparing since Sunday providing coastal communities with automatic response and alert systems, especially those identified as flood-prone areas like the villages of Bucana, Maa and Matina.  Dump trucks and rubber boats were also prepared for an eventual rescue and evacuation operations.

By MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Local government units in the Davao region are preparing for typhoon ‘Pablo’ (International name: Bopha) as it’s expected to make a landfall on Tuesday morning.

“Davao (City) is not in the (storm’s) path, but we don’t know what will happen.  The preparations we are doing are all part of SOP (standard operating procedure),” Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said on Monday’s media briefing at the city hall.

On Sunday evening, ‘Pablo’ entered the Philippine area of responsibility according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), Duterte-Carpio said, has been preparing since Sunday providing coastal communities with automatic response and alert systems, especially those identified as flood-prone areas like the villages of Bucana, Maa and Matina.  Dump trucks and rubber boats were also prepared for an eventual rescue and evacuation operations.

The mayor also said that the city has put members of the Central 911 “on alert” and has asked the military and police to prepare 50 percent of its total manpower who will serve as responders.

“Other parts of the region might be affected and we are ready to extend help,” she said.

“It’s signal No. 3 just now in the whole province (of Davao Oriental),” Governor Corazon Malanyaon said after the closed-door meeting of the Regional Peace and Order Committee (RPOC) Monday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.

Malanyaon hurriedly left after the meeting saying she has to check her action officer first on the DRRMC.  Before she left for Davao on Monday morning, it was only signal No. 1, albeit she said she already alerted the DRRMC and the police.

The Pagasa said floods and landslides are possible in Davao and Compostela Valley when ‘Pablo’ hits the areas.

“All mining areas should be evacuated immediately,” said Gov. Arturo Uy in an interview by the Davao media.  He said by tomorrow morning, those who reside along the shoreline should vacate their houses and go to the designated evacuation centers such as schools and gymnasiums.

Uy said the rivers of Manat, Batoto, Agusan and Hijo are considered high-risk due to possible flashfloods.

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, RPOC chair, said they have prepared for the storm and has 100-strong volunteers for the possible rescue and evacuation.

Pag-asa forecasted ‘Pablo’ as “the most powerful storm” to hit this year, even stronger than ‘Sendong’ which claimed the lives of thousands, including women and children, and destroyed billions-worth of farms and infrastructures also late last year.

As of 4 PM Monday, Pag-asa said the eye of typhoon ‘Pablo’ is at 390 Km Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.  It’s expected to be at 175 Km east on Tuesday morning and on Wednesday morning, it’s is forecasted to be at 80 Km South of Iloilo City.

In the Philippine public storm warning Signal No. 1, winds of 30-60 kph or intermittent rains may be expected within 36 hours.  During this time, the people are advised to listen to the latest weather bulletin issued by Pagasa every six hours.  It would be business as usual except when flashfloods occur.

In signal No.3, winds from 100 kph to 185 kph may be expected in not less than 18 hours.  Sea and coastal waters will be very dangerous to all seacrafts and it’s also risky to travel by sea and air.  During this time, people are advised to evacuate from low-lying areas, coasts and river banks and to seek shelter in strong buildings.  Classes in all levels should be suspended during this time and children should stay in the safety of strong buildings.  The Philippine public storm warning is up to Signal No. 4.  (Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/davaotoday.com)

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