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(19 February 2021)

NDRRMC TO PUBLIC: PREPARE, BE SAFE THIS STORMY WEEKEND DUE TO STS 'AURING'

Residents of flood- and landslide prone areas in MIMAROPA, the Visayan islands and Eastern Mindanao are advised to prepare for a stormy weekend due to Severe Tropical Storm ‘’AURING’.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) issued this reminder after a weather update meeting held at the NDRRM Operations Center today 19 February 2021 and attended by representatives of NDRRMC member agencies and regional disaster risk reduction and management councils (RDRRMC) via the ZOOM platform.

Currently, Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) # 1 has been raised over Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro (Pantukan, Maragusan, New Bataan, Compostela, Monkayo), Agusan Del Sur (Sibagat, Bayugan City, Propseridad, Talacogon, San Francisco, Rosario, Bunawan, Santa Josefa, Trento) Surigao del Sur. Other areas may also have TCWS raised as the storm progresses on its path.

Based on PAGASA’s forecast, STS “AURING” is expected to make landfall over the eastern coast of Caraga region Sunday morning (21 February) and is likely to take a generally northwestward path, traversing Caraga, the Visayas islands, and MIMAROPA. All areas mentioned will experience heavy to at times intense rainfall from the storm.

Today through tomorrow afternoon, light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced in Caraga, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte. Saturday afternoon through to Sunday morning, heavy to intense rains will be experienced in over Caraga Region while moderate to heavy with at times intense rains will be experienced over Eastern Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro. Light to moderate and at times heavy rains over the rest of Visayas, the rest of Northern Mindanao, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato and Davao City.

With the country still in the middle of the rainy season, complicated by the La Niña phenomenon, there is a high risk of flooding and landslides occurring in various susceptible areas. Local governments of communities located in the landslide prone areas, flood plains and banks of the river systems must undertake the necessary preparations as prescribed in the Oplan Listo Manual of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

RDRRMCs and regional offices of line departments had reported their preparations including those of the local government units for STS AURING: The prepositioning of equipment, vehicles and personnel, plans for the conduct of preemptive evacuation activities, preparation of evacuation facilities and relief supplies as well as the dissemination of warnings to the public through all channels of communication at all levels.

“LGU preparation is key to ensuring public safety against the threat of strong winds, floods and landslides that STS “AURING” poses,” said Asec Casiano Monilla, Civil Defense Deputy Administrator for Operations. “We emphasize the importance of evacuation planning, the preparation of relief stockpiles and evacuation facilities specified in NDRRMC Memo 54 as well as the continued compliance to minimum health standards against COVID-19.” he added.

The public is advised to stay updated by monitoring weather advisories and follow instructions issued by their local authorities.