DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 March) — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Regioin in Muslim Mindaao (BARMM) is bracing for typhoon Chedeng which is expected to affect the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi by Tuesday, March 19.
In his memo issued early Monday to all local chief executives (LCEs) and other concerned officials in the region, and provincial directors as well as city and municipal local government operations officers (C/MLGOOs), Minister of Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) had issued an advisory that Typhoon Chedeng is forecast to prevail in the southwest portion of Zamboanga City and in some areas in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi in 48 hours or by Wednesday.
According to Severe Weather Bulletin 8 of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued at 11 p.m. on Monday, Chedeng has changed course, and was now moving towards Davao Occidental where it may make landfall between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesday.
But PAGASA said Chedeng is expected to weaken into a Low Pressure Area after landfall.
On Tuesday, scattered to at times widespread moderate to heavy rains may be experienced over most parts of Mindanao, “especially over portions of Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Bangsamoro, and Zamboanga Peninsula.”
It is the first time PAGASA is mentioning “Bangsamoro” in its severe weather bulletins. The BARMM took over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on February 26. The new region comprises five provinces (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao) and three cities (Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato) and 63 villages in North Cotabato).
Sinarimbo said governors and mayors in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi (BaSulTa) provinces “are hereby advised to activate their Emergency Operations Center, 24/7, convene their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) today and undertake necessary mitigating actions and assessment in preparation for the incoming calamity.
Sinarimbo ordered BaSulTa provincial directors and city and municipal local overnmnet officers “to provide technical assistance and facilitate convening of LDRRMCs within their assigned areas.”
“Further, all LCEs are hereby directed to stay in their posts at the onslaught of typhoon Chedeng to personally oversee and spearhead the critical preparedness actions within their local government units,” Sinarimbo said.
In the same advisory, Sinarimbo also directed provincial directors of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur to direct city or municipal local government officers “to facilitate the convening of LDRRMCs within their field assignment, monitor updates on the typhoon Chedeng and advise their LGUs on disaster preparedness.”
As of 10 p.m. Monday, Chedeng was estimated based on Hinatuan radar and other available data at 180 km east of General Santos City with maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 60 km/h. It is forecast to move west at 25 km/h.
Chedeng is expected to be 100 km southeast of Zamboanga City by Tuesday evening.
Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Davao City, General Santos City, Davao Occidental, the southern portion of Davao del Norte including Samal Island, eastern portion of North Cotabato, eastern portion of South Cotabato, eastern portion of Sarangani, and eastern portion of Sultan Kudarat, have been placed under storm signal 1. (MindaNews)