DISASTER personnel in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City won’t let their guards off for another weather disturbance that is passing over Northern Mindanao Region.
If its track won't change, Tropical Storm Basyang will make landfall in Caraga Region and will pass over Northern Mindanao on Tuesday, February 13.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) is on red alert even as the state weather bureau placed Misamis Oriental under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 1 and 'yellow' warning level.
PDRRM officer Fernando Dy Jr. said responders were divided into three groups which will take turns in a 24-hour monitoring period while all rescue assets and equipment are on standby.
"As early as Friday last week, ato nang giandam ang tanang ekipo ug gi-instructionan na tanang responders," Dy said.
Dy said all town disaster offices are also directed to monitor their respective areas especially low lying, landslide and flood prone areas including water channels like rivers, among others.
As of Monday noon, water level in Misamis Oriental remains normal, Dy said.
Classes for elementary and high school in Opol town and classes in all levels in public and private schools in the towns of Libertad and Gitagum have been suspended.
Dy said should the weather disturbance maintains or intensifies strength, they will be forced to conduct preemptive evacuation.
"Kung mag-orange level na ug makita nga mag-worsen ang daot nga panahon, mag-conduct na ta og preemptive evacuation," Dy said.
As of 4:00 p.m. Monday, a total of 638 passengers were stranded in the different ports in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.
Some 200 passengers were stranded in Macabalan port in Cagayan de Oro; 315 in Dapitan; 89 in Surigao area; and 34 in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.
Scheduled trips were cancelled by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-Northern Mindanao as all sea vessels were prohibited to travel due to bad weather and storm warning signal issued by Pagasa.
In Cagayan de Oro City, the Incident Management Team of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department has been activated since Monday morning.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 13, 2018.