By Judaline F. Partlow
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) of Negros Oriental is now gearing up to respond to any eventuality as tropical storm Sendong continues to move toward the Visayas and is expected to cut across the southern part of Negros beginning today through Saturday.
Sendong is expected to make landfall Friday afternoon in Davao.
Allen Cabaron, provincial coordinator of the Office of Civil Defense and a member of the PDRRMC, disclosed that as early as Wednesday, the council already met and laid out possible response scenarios.
As far as the provincial government is concerned, logistics and other resources required for disaster response, relief and rehabilitation are in place, Cabaron said. However, local government units have to be regularly “pressured” to disseminate vital information on the progress of the typhoon down to the barangay levels, he added.
Some LGUs in Negros Oriental are not as fully equipped yet in terms of disaster response capability, Cabaron noted.
The PDRRMC is focusing on flood-prone and landslide prone areas in the southern part of the province, after the country’s weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), hoisted Public Storm Warning Signal No. 2 over southern Negros as of Friday.
Areas that have rivers potentially prone to flooding are Zamboanguita, Siaton, Sta. Catalina, Bayawan and Basay, as well as Valencia and Sibulan where the Okoy River flows through and the capital city of Dumaguete with the Banica River known for its occasional flash floods, the OCD provincial coordinator said.
Landslide prone areas, meanwhile, have been identified in the towns of Siaton and Zamboanguita and Bayawan City.