South Cotabato steps up preparation for La Nina
GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The provincial government of South Cotabato has stepped up its intervention for the possible onslaught in the province of the predicted La Niña phenomenon.
Milagros Lorca, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said Monday they are currently monitoring vulnerable upland and low-lying areas in the province for the occurrence of severe floods and landslides.
She said the province has been experiencing sporadic heavy rains these past days and such condition is seen to continue in coming weeks.
Citing advisories from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Admistration (Pagasa), she said the “weak” La Nina was predicted to start this month.
“We’re continually monitoring the situation and we have ongoing engagements to properly prepare our local communities for it,” she said.
Lorca said the local government has a standby preparedness plan for La Nina, which is characterized by unusually heavy rainfall over a period.
The official said they have been closely coordinating with the Municipal and Barangay DRRM Councils for the implementation of preparatory measures.
She said the identified flood and landslide prone areas in the province already have disaster alarm and evacuation systems in place.
These covers communities situated in mountainous areas and those near major rivers and tributaries, she said.
Vicente Ayongao, acting head of the Provincial Engineering Office, said they have assigned standby heavy equipment for immediate deployment during emergencies.
He said these equipment are located in strategic areas within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.
“These are mainly assigned in our continuing road maintenance works but they can be pulled out anytime for emergencies,” he said.
As a result of the sporadic heavy rains these past days, Ayongao said they received reports regarding problems with road networks in the remote areas.
He said they are currently validating these reports as required for the deployment of necessary equipment.
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