Region 12 placed under ‘blue alert’ as typhoon Lando enters PH

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 October) — The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Region 12 has raised the “blue alert” status in the entire area in connection with the entry of typhoon Lando.

Minda Morante, RDRRMC-Region 12 chair, said Friday such move was a precautionary measure as the typhoon could still trigger heavy rains in parts of the region even as its track indicated it was headed towards Northern Luzon.

“We have to be ready for the possible impact of typhoon Lando in our communities,” she said.

Under a “blue alert” status, half of the personnel of disaster management agencies would be on standby for contingencies.

“Local disaster councils and RDRRMC member-agencies are mandated to monitor the situation in their areas of responsibility and immediately submit reports on incidents that might occur,” she said.

Morante, who is also the regional director of the Office of Civil Defense, said the raising of the alert status in the region was based on Memorandum No. 37 dated Oct. 14 issued by the National DRRM Council.

She noted that it is necessary for the region to be ready for any eventuality to avert a repeat of the June 24 floods that left three people dead and destroyed around P104 million worth of infrastructure and agricultural crops.

She stressed that there was no typhoon warning prior to the floods, which came after hours of almost nonstop heavy rains in parts of South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces.

In the last two weeks, the region has been experiencing almost daily rains due to the effects of the inter-tropical convergence zone.

A report released by OCD-12 showed that 341 of Region 12’s 1,194 barangays are considered as highly prone to flooding while 218 are at risk to landslides.

The flood-prone areas cover 179 barangays in North Cotabato and Cotabato City, 73 in Sultan Kudarat, 69 in South Cotabato, and 20 in Sarangani.

For the landslide-prone areas, 57 barangays are located in South Cotabato and this city, 57 in Sultan Kudarat, 53 in North Cotabato, and 51 in Sarangani. (MindaNews)