DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Dec) — Storm signal no. 2 has been raised over Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte and Signal 1 over 12 of 27 Mindanao provinces as tropical storm ‘Vinta’ moved towards Eastern Mindanao.
Placed under Signal 1 are Dinagat Island, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Northern Davao Oriental, Northern Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, and Davao del Norte all in Mindanao and Southern Leyte, southern portion of Leyte, and Bohol, according to the Severe Weather Bulletin 4 issued at 8 a.m. Thursday by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Mindanao has 27 provinces and 33 cities and one more Mindanao province may be added to the list under signal 1 as the PAGASA advisory cited “possible inclusion” of Misamis Oriental in Mindanao and Southern Cebu and Siquijor in the Visayas “in the next bulletin” which will be issued at 11 a.m.
Vinta (international name ‘Tembin’) is expected to make landfall “over Caraga – Davao Region area” between Thursday evening (December 21) and Friday morning (December 22) morning.
As of 7 a.m. Thursday, ‘Vinta’s’ center was estimated at 440 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, packing maximum winds of up to 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph, the weather bulletin said.
‘Vinta’ is forecast to move west at 18 kph and will be 80 km northeast of Hinatuan by Friday morning; 175 km west of Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte by Saturday morning; in the vicinity of Rizal, Palawan by Sunday morning; and 185 km southwest of Pagasa Island, Palawan by Monday morning, also outside the PAR.
Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang activated its Incident Command System (ICS) Wednesday afternoon during an emergency meeting of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) as the province braces for “serious flooding” in low-lying areas.
Baganga in the northern part of Davao Oriental was where super typhoon Pablo made landfall on December 4, 2012.
According to a press release from the provincial information office e-mailed at 9:07 p.m., the PDRRMC reported that the towns of Boston, Cateel, Baganga, and parts of Caraga are expected to be affected by the heavy rains up to 40 mm within the next three days.
Sharon Mendoza-Alegado, provincial director of the Department of Science and Technology said this amount of rainfall is way above the “red” warning of 30 mm. She said if this continues, it would result in “serious flooding in low-lying areas.”
Scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains are expected over Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Davao Region within 24 hours. “Residents of these areas must undertake precautionary measures, coordinate with their respective local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates,” the bulletin said.
Fisherfolk and those with small seacraft are advised not to venture out over the eastern seaboard of Mindanao due to the moderate to rough seas associated with the approaching Vinta, it said.
Governor Dayanghirang ordered close monitoring of all areas, especially barangays surrounding the Cateel Irrigation System in Barangay Aragon, Cateel.
On pre-emptive evacuation, Dayanghirang said they will “rely on the wise judgment of the barangay chairmen who are directly on the ground.”
The Department of Interior and Local Government has alerted the barangays and encouraged residents to prepare their “Go Bag” or survival kit consisting of basic necessities such as food and water good for at least three days.
Dayanghirang also requested additional 20,000 food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to augment the province’s supply, on top of the already prepositioned food packs at the provincial level.
Provincial government employees who are on Christmas leave have also been recalled to render service in what the press release described as “unusual event,” the PIO press release said. (MindaNews)