By Junar Fenequito
DAVAO CITY — The Davao Oriental Police Provincial Office (DOPPO) and 67th Infantry Battalion (IB) is now on alert for the possible landfall of Tropical Depression Chedeng in the eastern seaboard of Davao Oriental on Tuesday.
DOPPO operations deputy head Sr. Insp. Michael Celecio said all search and rescue units of every police station in the province are now on standby for possible deployment once the weather disturbance makes landfall in the province.
Celecio said this was discussed during the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting last Sunday where all security units were ordered to take necessary actions once Chedeng hits Davao Oriental.
He said all rescue units will be focusing on the towns of Cateel and Boston since these are surrounded with several dams and rivers that could possibly cause flash floods and landslides.
“We are now having a close coordination with the PDRRMO,” he said.
As of this press time, Celecio said the province has been experiencing light rainshowers, which started at 4 a.m. Monday.
67th IB commander Lt. Col Louie Dema-ala said his troops were mobilizing around the East Coast part of the province to monitor the situation since the Chedeng has already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility early morning of Monday.
“We are prepared with the possible effects of the typhoon,” he said
Dema-Ala said they were also monitoring Aragon Dam in Cateel, the biggest dam in the province, and, so far, the water level remained at a normal level.
“Kapag lumagpas naman siya sa critical, we will be informed by the authorities there para makapag prepare ang mga maapektuhan (If this dam will reach its critical level, we will be informed by the authorities there, to mobolize and inform the affected people),” he said.
Meanwhile in Davao City, CDRRMO operations head Rodrigo Bustillo said their office already ordered all barangays to implement pre-emptive evacuation especially to the landslide and flash flood prone area since the city was also placed under weather alert Signal No. 1.
Bustillo said all rescue units of Central 911 and from the police are ready to respond in case of heavy rains that could cause floods and landslides in the city.
He also said the City Social Services and Development Office was also preparing the relief goods that will be distributed to the shelter areas.