Caraga NGAs, DRRMOs prepare for TS Auring

BUTUAN CITY, Feb. 18 (PIA) -- Concerned national government agencies and disaster risk reduction management offices (DRRMOs) are now outlining their preparedness measures for the Tropical Storm (TS) Auring which is expected to make landfall on the evening of Saturday or on Sunday morning, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Butuan.

As of 8:00 am of Thursday, February 18, Tropical Depression Auring has intensified into a tropical storm while moving slowly northwestward over the Philippine sea. Latest PAGASA report states that at 10:00 am of Thursday, TS Auring was estimated at 685 km East Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.

“There is a possibility that TS Auring may intensify into Severe Tropical Storm prior to landfall over Caraga on the weekend,” said Ver Lance Galanida, Chief of PAGASA Butuan City in the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment during the 26th Caraga Regional Task Force for COVID-19 (RTF COVID-19) Meeting on Thursday.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 may be raised over several provinces of Caraga as early as Friday.

Concerned government agencies already aligned their preparations for the incoming disaster. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has issued a memorandum for the possible activation of Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in their respective provincial social welfare and development (SWAD) offices and in their Caraga field office. Food and non-food items have already been prepositioned and vehicles are on standby for logistical support. Meanwhile, more than 560,000 medicines and medical supplies have also been prepositioned by the Department of Health (DOH) Caraga in their provincial offices for the impending disaster.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has already issued a memorandum to have their 89 members of the Special Rescue Unit be on standby for disaster operations while the Philippine National Police (PNP) has instructed their provincial, city, and municipal police stations to coordinate with the respective local government units in their areas.

Meanwhile, sea travel has been suspended in the ports of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte. The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) port management offices in the said provinces are coordinating with shipping lines to prepare for the tropical storm.

Respective provincial DRRMOs of the region’s five provinces and the city DRRMO of this city are also finalizing their preparedness measures before the expected landfall of TS Auring. Disaster management officials said disaster equipment such as rescue gears and vehicles are now being prepositioned. They will also have residents of high-risk areas be evacuated tomorrow, particularly those in the Surigao provinces, where the tropical storm is expected to make landfall. Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur have already been activated.

During the meeting, RTF COVID-19 chairperson and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga regional director Liza Mazo emphasized the need to make extra preparation for the incoming disaster to minimize and possibly avoid casualties.

“We want to learn from our experience with tropical depression Vicky and leave little to no room for error. We do not want Caraganons to suffer simply because we have failed to do our tasks in disaster preparedness and management,” she said.

Moderate and heavy rains are expected over most parts of Caraga region by Friday until Sunday morning. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

 



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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