Davao City on high alert for typhoon ‘Pablo’

DAVAO CITY(MindaNews/ 2 December) — The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) was placed on high alert Sunday to closely monitor typhoon “Pablo,” which was expected to hit northeastern Mindanao Sunday night or early Monday.

Emmanuel Jaldon, CDRRMC officer-in-charge and chief of Central 911, said the council has disseminated information on automatic response system down to the barangay level, even as the city, located in southern Mindanao, is not directly on the path of the storm.

Also informed were private volunteer groups and government agencies involved in disaster quick response.

Jaldon said barangay leaders and volunteers have been given drills and know what to do in times of disaster, particularly in moving residents away from danger zones.

Evacuation centers have been identified such as gyms that are situated on higher grounds and far from the possible impact of the typhoon.

Communication systems have been arranged and some barangays have acquired sirens, while others have improvised alarm systems like bells made of cut-out cylinders, Jaldon said.

Communication equipment like mobile phones and radio have also been prepared in case communication lines would shut down.

Two dump trucks were on standby at the compound of the Public Safety and Security Command center in case there is a need to evacuate residents and that additional vehicles will be provided if the need arises, Jaldon said.

In a text message, Mayor Sara Duterte said the  City Social Services and Development Office has been ordered to stand by and is getting periodic updates from the CDRRMC.

The City Information Office announced that typhoon advisories can be monitored through the city’s website portal and official Facebook account.

Jaldon said the city is on “blue” alert as officials closely monitor typhoon Pablo.

Under tight watch is the water level of the Davao River, with Jaldon saying they will raise the alert if the situation warrants.

All barangays have been instructed to monitor their areas, especially those that are highly vulnerable to flashfloods and landslides.

Jaldon identified the high-risk areas as Maa, Bucana, MatinaPangi, Matina Crossing, and Bangkal because they are near riverbanks.

Areas that had been affected by previous flashfloods will possibly be vulnerable to the impact of Pablo, he added.

“Stay alert. Keep monitoring the radio and television. And keep in touch with barangay leaders,”  said Jaldon.  (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)