Signal no. 1 up in Oro, MisOr as ‘Caloy’ enters Mindanao

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Friday, March 21, 2014

SIGNAL number 1 has been hoisted in 12 areas, including Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin and Bukidnon, as Tropical Depression Caloy has continued to move inland to Mindanao Friday afternoon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 5 p.m. forecast Friday.

The low pressure area was upgraded to tropical depression named Caloy around 4 a.m. Friday.

Tropical Depression Caloy is the third tropical cyclone to enter the country this year and the first for this month of March.


Aside from the three Northern Mindanao provinces, Pagasa also declared the following areas in eastern and southern Mindanao under signal number 1: northern part of Davao Oriental, northern part of Davao del Norte, Davao City, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Siargao, Dinagat, and North Cotabato.

Christine Cabiasa, provincial information officer, said even before Pagasa put Misamis Oriental under signal number 1, Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano has ordered an emergency meeting for members and department heads of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) to prepare for any eventualities.

“The Gingoog and Provincial Capitol (PDRRMO) command centers have already been activated,” Cabiasa said, adding that the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office has also prepared some 3,000 packed food items consisting of three kilograms of rice, instant noodles and sardines and ready for distribution to potential evacuees.

So far, she said there was no report yet of any landslide or flashflood in the province, except for portions of the national highway in Medina town which overflowed.

Rescue teams are also monitoring the Odiongan river in Gingoog City to see if the water level has risen there.

Cabiasa said the PDRRMO has focused most of its resources and manpower on the eastern part of the province, particularly in Magsaysay, Gingoog, Medina, Talisayan and Balingoan as these towns are experiencing heavy rains.

Code yellow in Oro

For its part, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) has raised its alert level to “code yellow” and issued warning to residents, especially those living in landslide and flashflood-prone areas.

Ramon Verner Monsanto, head of the CDRRMO, said that as of Friday afternoon, the water level at Cagayan de Oro river has not risen owing to the absence of rain in the city’s hinterland areas since the low pressure area in January.

But Monsanto said the CDRRMO is always prepared.

According to Pagasa on Friday, Caloy was located 310 kilometers northeast of Davao City and approximately 170 degrees east northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

The tropical depression has a maximum wind of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and is “forecast to move” at 15 kph, said Hannah Salvador, weather specialist at the Pagasa weather station in Molugan, El Salvador City.

Signal number 1 was also raised in Visayas, particularly, in Southern Leyte, Bohol, Siquijor, southern Cebu, southern part of Negros Occidental, and southern part of Negros Oriental.

Pagasa added that residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signal are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.

The estimated rainfall amount within the 300-km diameter of the cyclone is from five to 15 millimeters per hour, which is classified as “moderate to heavy.”

Later Saturday, Caloy will be at 90 kilometers west of Butuan city, and is expected to have already entered Cagayan de Oro in the evening.

On Sunday afternoon, it will be located at 220 kilometers northwest of Dipolog City, and by Monday, it will be at 100 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa where it will exit the Philippine area of responsibility.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 22, 2014.

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