Dabawenyos warned of La Niña weather risks

Dabawenyos warned of La Niña weather risks
Photo by Mary Agnes Pequiro

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) has advised Dabawenyos living near rivers, creeks, and landslide-prone areas to remain vigilant, especially during the rainy season.

Alfredo Baluran, head of CDRRMO, said in a phone interview with SunStar Davao on Tuesday afternoon, July 2, 2024, that the Philippines is currently experiencing La Niña. This weather pattern leads to localized thunderstorms, easterlies, and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which can develop into typhoons. These often bring heavy downpours in the afternoons and late evenings.

“Kanunay nato nga pahimangnuan ang atoang mga kaigsounan nga kanunay mag-andam (We will always remind the people to be ready at all times),” he said.

Photo by Mary Agnes Pequiro

Baluran also cautioned residents in landslide-prone areas to stay alert, as successive rains can trigger landslides. He advised them to monitor their surroundings for any unusual soil movement and evacuate immediately if necessary.

“Kaning mga landslide-prone areas delikado pod siya kay naay mga tubig na magpundo anang mga lugara maka cause ug landslide (These landslide-prone areas are dangerous because water accumulation in certain spots can trigger landslides),” he said.  

He stressed that their weather monitoring and public advisories are closely coordinated with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), providing Dabawenyos with updates on potential heavy rainfall.

In addition to their advisories, Baluran highlighted the installation of early warning devices along the city’s river channels, from upstream to downstream, and in coastal areas. These devices enable timely warnings for residents living in high-risk areas, including barangays along the Davao, Talomo, Bunawan, Lasang, and Lipadas Rivers.

He also emphasized the readiness of Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committees (BDRRMCs) in each barangay, ensuring they are prepared to respond to emergencies during weather disturbances.

“Ready to be deployed na sila and ready to respond if there are emergencies in their barangays (They are ready to be deployed and respond promptly to emergencies in their barangays),” he said. 

As of 3 p.m. on the same day, affected Dabawenyos had returned to their homes as the water levels subsided. Baluran reported that river levels in the city had returned to normal, with no advisories issued for heavy rainfall.

Meanwhile, Paul Bermejo, head of the Ancillary Services Unit (ASU), said in a text message to SunStar Davao that their office continuously clears canals in flood-prone areas and maintains the city's silted drainage system.

“Wala gyud mi naga-stop ug de-clogged sa mga canals sa flood-prone areas (We are continuously declogging the canals in flood-prone areas),” he said.

In their latest weather report, CDRRMO stated that the ITCZ affecting Southern Mindanao had resulted in cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms. Light to moderate winds are expected from southwest to southeast, with seas ranging from slight to moderate. RGP

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