BAGUIO

Cordillera in blue alert due to LPA

CORDILLERA was placed under blue alert following the entry of a low pressure area (LPA) into the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

Albert Mogol, Office of the Civil Defense Cordillera (OCD) director and Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) chairman, said the move is to ensure that vulnerable areas in the region would be ready for any eventuality, which may happen during the passing of the LPA.

"We have conducted a pre-disaster needs assessment or PDRA together with the national office of the OCD or the NDRRMC. Based on the report of the DOST (Department of Science and Technology), the LPA will induce Habagat, which we are monitoring as of the moment and we are not sure if this will [make a] landfall. Here in CAR (Cordillera), because of the monsoon rains of the Habagat, which it will induce, all PDRRMC and DRRMC have heightened their alert to blue alert," Mogol said.

The CDRRMC raised the alert level as early as 4 p.m. of June 23, following the LPA's entry.

Mogol said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in the region has issued an updated list of geohazard, flood-prone and landslide-prone areas from the provincial, municipal and the barangay level.

The list provides concerned local government units (LGUs) specific information on disasters common in the area, as well as different levels of susceptibility. This would allow LGUs to craft appropriate responses during disasters to avoid the loss of lives in case of a heavy downpour.

"As we all know during Typhoon Ompong, this was one of the causes why we had rain-induced landslides especially in the area of Itogon. During our recent inspection with the local government unit, Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Education, we inspected the schools plus other landslide-prone areas there and so far, the threat is still there particularly during heavy rains. Our agreement with the local government is to immediately effect preemptive evacuation prior to the entry of any typhoon," Mogol said.

Around 20 typhoons are expected to enter the country with, 10 passing over the Cordillera region, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

"We are hoping that no typhoons would pass over the Cordillera region so that we would not be affected. Here in the Cordillera, we are very vulnerable to landslides. We have visited Bontoc in Mountain Province, and Kalinga where there are areas identified and the MGB released a landslide and flood prone area and we have advised residents in these areas to take the necessary precautions and safety measures," Mogol said.


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