(UPDATE) Storm signal 1 raised over 11 of 26 Mindanao provinces

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

Public storm warning signal number 1 was raised in four more Mindanao provinces as Zoraida is fast approaching, making a total of ten out of 26 provinces under public storm warning signal number 1, particularly in Caraga and Davao regions.

Tropical depression Zoraida was spotted 830 km Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur, as of 10 a.m. Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and moving 30 kph west northwest, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) Weather Bulletin 2 issued at 11 a.m. Monday.

According to Weather Bulletin 1 issued at 5 a.m. Monday, Signal Number 1 was raised over Dinagat Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte, including Siargao Island in the Caraga Region; in the Davao region’s Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte inclusive of Samal Island; in Northern Mindanao region’s Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Camiguin. The last three provinces were added under Signal 1 in the 11 a.m. Weather Bulletin 2.

Compostela Valley was not listed in both Bulletins 1 and 2 but its omission is apparently an oversight. Even Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy thinks his province was inadvertently omitted from the list. Compostela Valley shares boundaries with Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

Raul Villocino, action officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) told MindaNews at 3 p.m. Wednesday that PAGASA Davao had informed him at 10 a.m. that it will be submitting an erratum since Compostela Valley is supposed to be under Signal 1.

Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy has ordered the suspension of classes in the public and private elementary and secondary levels starting at 1 p.m. Monday (today) and on Tuesday.

In the Visayas, the areas listed under Signal 1 are Siquijor, Southern Cebu, Boho, Negros Oriental and Southern Negros Occidental.

Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental 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.

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. 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, according to Weather Bulletin 2, forecasts Zoraida would be 160 kms southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Tuesday morning, in the vicinity of Cuyo or 130 kms west of Iloilo City on Wednesday morning and 650 kms west of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday morning.

Estimated rainfall amount is from five to 15-mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within Zoraida’s 300-kilometer diameter. (MindaNews)