Storm signal 1 raised over 7 of 26 Mindanao provinces

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 Nov) – After Yolanda, here comes Zoraida.

Public storm warning signal number 1 has been raised over seven of 26 Mindanao provinces, particularly in the Caraga and Davao regions, as tropical depression Zoraida was spotted 950 km Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur, as of 4 a.m. Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and moving 28 kph northwest, according to the weather bureau.

It is not clear why Compostela Valley, which shares boundaries with Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte, is not included in the listing under PAGASA’s Weather Bulletin Number One on Zoraida, issued at 5 a.m. Monday.

Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley were the hardest hit provinces when super typhoon Pablo battered eastern Mindanao on December 4, 2012. Pablo made landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental although the forecast was it would make landfall in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon told MindaNews in a text message at 8:43 a.m. Monday that they were still meeting on the preparations for Zoraida.

Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy acknowledged in a text message to MindaNews that his province may have been inadvertently omitted in the listing.

But even as no warning signal was raised over Compostela Valley, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) there is not taking any chances. PDRRMC action officer Raul Villocino said their main concern will be the expected heavy rainfall which could bring landslides and floods.

Last Friday, storm warning signal 4 was raised over Dinagat province and Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte. Storm warning signals of a lesser degree was hoisted over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Camiguin and Misamis Oriental.

No signal was also raised over Compostela Valley in relation to super typhoon Yolanda but Governor Uy suspended classes and small-scale mining operations on November 7 and 8.

According to PAGASA, public storm warning signal 1 means 30-60 kph winds are expected within the next 36 hours (last year it was pegged at 45-60 kph).The impact of the winds are: “Twigs and branches of small trees may be broken; Some banana plants may be tilted or uprooted; Some houses of very light materials may be partially unroofed; Only very light or no damage may be sustained by areas affected; and Rice crops in flowering stage may suffer significant damage.”

PAGASA forecasts Zoraida would be 400 kms southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Tuesday morning, in the vicinity of Tagbilaran City on Wednesday morning and 170 kms west of Coron, Palawan by Thursday morning.

As of the 5 a.m. Monday bulletin, Mindanao and Eastern Visayas will be cloudy with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains.

“Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and and coming from the northeast to north over Mindanao. The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be with moderate to rough,” PAGASA said. (MindaNews)