DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 February) – Fourteen of Mindanao’s 26 provinces have been placed under public storm warning Signal Number 1 as of 11 p.m. Monday as tropical depression ‘Crising’ is fast nearing Mindanao.
Earlier at 5:30 p.m, only four provinces of the Davao region – Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur and the cities of Davao, Tagum, Panabo, Island Garden City of Samal, Digos and Mati — were under Signal 1.
In its Weather Bulletin Number Two issued at 11 p..m. Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) PAGASA reported that as of 10 p.m., the center of Crising was estimated at 470 km east of General Santos City with maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and forecast to move west northwest at 19 kph.
At 4 p.m., PAGASA estimated Crising’s center at 750 kilometers east of General Santos City with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour.
The PAGASA advisory said Crising is expected to be at 40 km east of Davao City by Tuesday evening, at 150 km north of Zamboanga City by Wednesday evening and at 100 km southwest of Puerto Princesa City by Thursday evening.
Aside from the four provinces of Davao region, PAGASA placed these provinces under storm Signal 1: Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Sarangani and the southern’ part of Surigao del Sur.
On December 4, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley provinces were badly battered as Typhoon Pablo made landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental.
Classes in public and private pre-school and kindergarten are “automatically cancelled or suspended” in the areas placed under storm signal 1, according to the Department of Education Order No. 43, which provides the guidelines for implementing Executive Order No. 66 on the cancellation or suspension of classes and offices during typhoons, floodings, weather disturbances and calamities
In its Weather Bulletin Number One issued at 5:30 p..m. Monday, PAGASA said Crising was “expected to be at 350 km east of General Santos City” by Tuesday afternoon, at 40 km southeast of Cotabato City by Wednesday afternoon and 220 km southeast of Zamboanga City by Thursday afternoon.
By 10 p.m. the forecast had changed.
According to PAGASA, under Signal 1, winds of 45 to 60 kilometers per hour are expected within the next 36 hours. Among the impacts of the winds are: twigs and branches of trees may be broken; some banana plants may tilt or land flat on the ground; rice in flowering stage may suffer significant damage; some nipa and cogon houses may be partially unroofed; and travel of small seacrafts and fishing boats is risky.
At 8:53 p.m. also on Monday, the weather bureau issued Heavy Rainfall Yellow Advisory Number 1. It said “moderate to heavy rainfall” is expected over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao City and Lanao del Norte.
In areas under Yellow Advisory, flooding is possible in low-lying areas and those located near the river channels, PAGASA said, as it urged local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils to “take necessary precautionary measures.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews