GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 November) — The weather condition here and in neighboring areas has remained fair and is seen normalize within the next two days despite the ongoing onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda” in parts of northern and eastern Mindanao and the Visayas region.
Jerome Barranco, Office of Civil Defense Region 12 acting director, said Friday that based on the latest advisory from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the region will only experience occasional rains as a result of the weather disturbance.
“The typhoon’s track is moving away from our area so we’re hoping that we’ll have a normal weather condition in the coming days,” he said.
As of Friday morning, Barranco said only light rain showers were recorded in the region and they have not received any report of landslides or flashfloods occurring in the area.
Dante Arriola, senior weatherman of the Pagasa station here, said the area’s weather condition is expected to be fair in the next 24 hours.
But he said scattered rain showers might occur in the afternoon, night time and early morning on Saturday, partly due to the passing typhoon.
Despite such forecast, Barranco said all local disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) councils and offices in the region have remained on high alert for the possible effects of the typhoon in the area.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
He said the local DRRMs have laid down action plans and preemptive measures as well as launched massive information and dissemination activities regarding the possible impact of the super typhoon.
The preparations were in compliance with the directives issued by President Benigno S. Aquino III and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He said the city government has prepared evacuation centers in each of the 26 barangays while the City DRRM Office activated a monitoring center.
In North Cotabato, Barranco said an operations center was set up in the municipality of Pikit to ensure the proper monitoring of flood-prone areas in the towns of Pigcawayan, Magpet and Midsayap.
He said the local government of Kidapawan has set up an evacuation center near barangays Ilomavis and Balabag, which were identified as disaster high risk areas.
In Tacurong City, he said local security Task Force Talakudong and the Tracer search and rescue group are on standby for any eventuality in connection with the weather disturbance.
Meantime, as a result of the landfall early Friday of super typhoon “Yolanda,” the Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have cancelled all flights to and from this city for their Manila, Cebu and Iloilo routes.
In Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, sporadic rains have occurred since Thursday, and classes in the pre-school, elementary and high school levels were canceled on Friday. (MindaNews)