DAVAO CITY -- Davao City government and other local government units (LGUs) in Compostela Valley suspended classes in all levels in both public and private schools as Tropical Storm "Basyang" (international name Sanba) approaches eastern Mindanao.
The Davao City Information Office (CIO) announced the class suspension Monday night, as "Basyang" gains strength and is expected to make landfall in the Caraga region Tuesday morning.
Based on state weather agency Pagasa's Severe Weather Bulletin issued 5 a.m. Tuesday, "Basyang" will bring scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains in the next 24 hours over Visayas, Caraga, and northern Mindanao that can also affect Davao City.
However, the CIO announced there would be no suspension of government work at the LGU level while cancellation of work in the private sector is at the discretion of the employers.
Chief Information Officer Jefry Tupas said residents in flood and landslide-prone areas are urged to be on alert and prepare for preemptive evacuation if necessary.
Davaoeños were encouraged to use their best judgment if they feel that there was a need to conduct voluntary evacuation and to call 911 for emergencies.
The city government advised residents especially in flood-prone and landslide-prone areas to:
- prepare or conduct the necessary safety measures if the weather will affect Davao City;
- evacuate to a safe area when advised by local emergency personnel or when Early Warning Siren is activated;
- avoid flood/flash flood, landslide and coastal flooding areas or if living in these areas, to temporarily seek for safe shelters away from these hazards before impact of severe weather;
- prepare survival kits (food, water, flashlight, radio, clothes, and others good for 72 hours); and,
- monitor radio stations, social media and other official government information channels for weather updates.
In Davao Oriental, the provincial government has activated its Incident Command System (ICS) Monday afternoon in light of the Severe Weather Bulletin. Davao Oriental is placed under Signal Number 1 and is under Blue Alert Status which means the 24 hour-operation of the Disaster Operation Center and standby of all available resources such as equipment, food packs, and responders.
Provincial Information Officer Karen Lou Deloso said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRMMC) is continuously monitoring the situation in the municipalities, city and the barangays as cloudy skies and scattered rain showers are being experienced in most areas of the province.
Deloso said warnings and advisories had been disseminated CDRMMC and MDRRMC.
She added that the provincial government is also closely coordinating with the Department of Education for the automatic suspension of classes for pre-schoolers and kindergarten.
Provincial personnel is also closely monitoring the water level at the Aragon Dam in Cateel town. Monkayo Mayor Ramil Lao Gentugaya through the Incident Management Team has suspended classes in all levels in both public and private schools from Monday afternoon.
The Philippine Coast Guard in Davao City suspended the island hopping activities around the Island Garden City of Samal as of Monday.
Pagasa said "Basyang" has accelerated its strength. It was spotted 175 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 2 is raised over Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, and Agusan del Sur. PAGASA warned of 61-120 kph winds within the next 24 hours and storm surges reaching 4.1-14.0 meters at coastal areas.
TCWS No. 1 is up in the southern portion of Samar, southern portion of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor, Guimaras, Iloilo, Dinagat Islands, Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Bukidnon, and the northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. (PNA)