Region 6 girds for year’s first tropical cyclone to hit PH

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Satellite image of Tropical Depression Amang as of January 20, 2019, 4:30 pm. Image from NOAA

ILOILO City – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) of Western Visayas has alerted provincial, municipal, city, and barangay disaster councils for the first tropical cyclone to hit the country, “Amang.” The region is along the cyclone’s projected path and may experience inclement weather.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, “Amang” continued to move closer towards the Surigao provinces, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa). It was moving in the west northwest direction.

Office of the Civil Defense Region 6 director Jose Roberto Nuñez, the RDRRMC chairperson, ordered local disaster councils to alert their respective constituents and monitor settlements in flood- and landslide-prone areas.

“Further, you are directed to implement preemptive evacuation protocol in areas identified with very high susceptibility ratings to landslides and flooding,” a memorandum from the RDRRMC read.

“Amang” packs maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 60 kph.

Nuñez advised local DRRMCs to consult hazard maps to ascertain these areas and coordinate with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

He specifically cited towns and cities in Negros Occidental with very high susceptibility to landslides and flooding. These were the following:

* Cadiz City (eight barangays)

* E.B. Magalona (two barangays)

* Manapla (two barangays)

* Sagay City (12 barangays)

* Silay City (one barangay)

* Talisay City (one barangay)

* Victoria City (one barangay).

Today, moderate to heavy rains may prevail over Eastern Visayas, Bicol Region and Dinagat Islands.

Tomorrow, moderate to heavy rains may be experienced over Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region.

Residents of the aforementioned areas, especially those living in areas at high risk of flooding and landslides, are advised to take appropriate actions, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates, especially the Severe Weather Bulletins and the Heavy Rainfall Warnings from Pagasa regional services divisions.

Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over the seaboards of areas under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1, the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

At 5 p.m. yesterday, Pagasa placed the following areas under Signal No. 1:

* Visayas – Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Bohol and Northern Cebu

* Mindanao – Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur. Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands and Camiguin/PN

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