RAINY SEASON WARNING: Provinces, towns with river systems at risk of flooding

MEMBERS of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) hold a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) meeting on June 24, 2019 to prepare for weather systems that might affect Western Visayas this week. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) warned the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz to prepare for the rainy season.

In a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) meeting conducted on June 24, 2019, Aletha Nogra of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) under the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Western Visayas, said the two provinces are flood-prone areas.

Nogra said the region must be alert as rains are very likely between today and Thursday due to the low pressure area (LPA) and Southwest Monsoon (Habagat).

“As per discussions of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and recommendation of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), Region 6 should be alert because there will be rains starting on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the western sea board of Luzon and Visayas,” he said.

Nogra said that they are now monitoring the two current weather systems which may affect the region.

May LPA and Southwest Monsoon amo na ang weather systems nga ginabantayan.  High risk ang Iloilo province and Capiz because of the two weather systems,” she said.

Citing PAG-ASA forecasts, Ryan Vilmor Dumpit, Science Research Specialist of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), said that although the LPA has no direct effect in the region, the weather system still enhances the Habagat.

“The LPA enhances the Habagat that’s why we are experiencing cloudy skies,” he said.

While Iloilo and Capiz are considered as flood-prone areas, Nogra emphasized that all local government units (LGUs) should prepare especially those located near river systems since the characteristic of the whole region is generally at risk of landslide and flooding.

Tutukan ang mga LGUs nga ara sa river system, then ang mga LGUs may high risk sa landslides kay characteristics daan sang region, landslide and flood prone area. Indi ta maghatag complacency sa iban nga provinces kay mas maayo na lang ma-prepare ta region-wide,” she said.

MGB-6 has stressed that all areas with river systems in the province are considered flood prone especially those that are topographically low.

“Flood prone areas are Iloilo and Capiz and tanan nga river system flood prone areas. It doesn’t matter kon diin ka nga probinsya kay biskan gamay lang ulan prone na sa flood,” said MGB geologist Leilanie Suerte.

Suerte cited the Jalaur River System in Calinog, Iloilo and Pan-ay River Basin in Capiz as some of the river systems in the region that might stimulate flooding.

Ang tanan nga banwa basta may river system biskan gamay-gamay lang nga pocket rains from banwabanwa pwede gid magbaha especially ang mga topographically low nga areas, mga talamnan, creeks, and river systems. Mag-watch out gid ta sa old waterways and riverbeds,” she said.

She also advised LGUs in landslide prone areas, particularly in Southern Iloilo and Antique, to refer to geo-hazard maps to identify the specific areas that are at risk of landslides.

Meanwhile, Nogra said that they will issue a memorandum to the local DRRMC in the region to prepare and be alert on any eventualities most especially the flood prone and landslide prone areas.

She emphasized that LGUs must prepare and ready their measures to prevent disasters.

“They should prepare safe evacuation centers, provision for the affected families, available food and non-food items, ila logistics, kon paano maevacuate ang maapektuhan nga families, ila operation center para dira nerve center sang response operations nila, tasking of the members of the LDRRM, and medicines,” Nogra said.