Surigao City braces for Tropical Depression Marce

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/23 November) — As Tropical Depression Marce approached Mindanao on Wednesday, the city began a close monitoring of the rainfall mount and water level to avoid a repeat of the traffic jam caused by a flashflood early this month.

The city had been experiencing slow to moderate rains since Tuesday evening.

“We are now taking consideration and anticipating the possible recurrence of heavy traffic triggered by a flashflood in the city streets,” Annette Villaces, information officer of the Surigao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office said.

Villaces said the city will implement alternative routes if needed.

She said they will ask the Department of Public Works and Highways to put up early warning signals for all unfinished drainage construction projects in the city.

She said some drainage canals in the city needed to be unclogged.

“We advise the Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils to monitor their area of responsibility for possible flashfloods and landslides,” she said. 

On November 4, the city experienced a flash flood that caused a traffic jam.

Floodwaters rose ankle- to knee-deep along Navarro, Borromeo San Nicolas, Diez, Sarvida, Roxas and Narcisco streets.

Kilometer 1, the national highway, Gemina and Vasquez streets became impassable as floodwaters rose from knee to waist-deep and some vehicles conked out.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued a weather advisory at 5 pm Wednesday that the low pressure area approaching Mindanao had developed into a tropical depression and was named Marce.

At 4 pm on Wednesday, Pagasa said “Marce” was spotted at 420 kilometers East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur with sustained winds of 45 km per hour and moving west northwest at 17 kph.

By Thursday afternoon the weather disturbance is expected to be 145 km east southeast of Surigao City.

Pagasa hoisted tropical cyclone warning signal number 1 over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental Camiguin, Southern Leyte, Bohol and Siquijor.

The weather bureau advised DRRMCs and the public to make preparations. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)