By Junar Fenequito
DAVAO CITY — The Davao Occidental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) remains on alert even if Tropical Depression Chedeng has already been downgraded to a low pressure area (LPA).
This was disclosed by PDRRMO head Harry Chester Camoro after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that Chedeng had already weakened into an LPA after it made landfall in the town of Malita at around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Camoro said his team was continuing to monitor now the rains being brought by the LPA since this could also bring flash floods and landslides, especially to the disaster-prone communities.
“What we are monitoring in this tropical depression is not the wind but the rain that will be brought by this,” he said.
Camoro said he already dispatched teams to monitor the rivers in the province so that they could immediately inform their constituents of possible floods that may occur.
He said the evacuation centers in the five towns of the province were also ready to help internally displaced persons once landslides and flash floods hit in their areas.
The official also bared that Davao Occidental Governor Claude Bautista declared suspension of all work in all government offices.
Camoro said there has, so far, been no report of any untoward incident in connection with the weather disturbance.
Meanwhile, in Davao City, CDRRMO operations chief Rodrigo Bustillo bared that his team has been constantly monitoring the water level of the rivers in the city.
This, after his office received information from his team deployed in Gumitan, Marilog District that the water level of Davao River was gradually rising.
Bustillo said they were already expecting this since the Bukidnon area, where Davao River starts, experienced heavy rains.
He also advised all barangay officials in the city that have communities near the flood and landslide prone areas to immediately implement pre-emptive evacuation once disaster approaches.
In other reports, motorists in Tarragona, Davao Oriental were stranded after the Masipit Bridge in Sitio Buhangin, Barangay Central was closed after it was found moving due to a flash flood.
Tarragona MDRRMO head Joebert Tesoy said the Department of Public Works and Highways decided to close the bridge to all kinds of vehicles around 6:00 a.m. of March 19, for the safety of everyone.
Tesoy said the bridge links motorists going to the town of Manay from Mati City and versa.
He said there were still no alternative routes for the motorists going to Manay or going to Mati City and there is still no definite time of the completion of its repair.