Negros Occidental, Bacolod disaster councils on ‘red alert’ due to ‘Agaton’

April 10, 2022 by No Comments

LOCAL Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, as well as their operation centers, are placed under “red alert” status over the weekend due to Tropical Storm Agaton.The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported that as of 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, the tropical storm is near Guiuan, Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph and is moving West Northwest at 10 kph.In its 8 p.m. tropical cyclone bulletin, Pagasa reported that “Agaton” continues to maintain its strength while moving slowly westward. Its maximum sustained winds increased to 75 kph near the center, and gustiness of up to 105 kph.Aside from the storm, another low pressure area (LPA) was noted at 415 kilometers west southwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, the state weather bureau added.Western Visayas and four other regions including Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas were also placed under “red alert status” with their Emergency Preparedness Response (EPR) already activated to Charlie Protocol.Putting the five regions under the Charlie Protocol for their EPR means that these local government units (LGUs) are considered “high risk” areas.The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Western Visayas, in a statement, said residents in these places, particularly those living near bodies of water or coastal communities, should take precautionary measures.As of Sunday, no evacuation and flash flood incidents brought by the bad weather have been reported in Negros Occidental, Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD) head Zephard Caelian said.Caelian, however, reminded residents especially in the low-lying areas in the province as well as those living near the creeks and the costs to be vigilant.In a related development, sea vessel trips between Escalante City, Negros Occidental and Tabuelan, Cebu were suspended effective Sunday.Tabuelan is under Storm Signal No. 1 on Sunday due to the tropical storm.Like in Negros Occidental, there were also no evacuation reports in Bacolod City as of Sunday.Executive Assistant Joemarie Vargas, who is the cluster head of City’s Disaster Risk Reduction management Office, said they are prepared in case there is a need to evacuate residents.The eight evacuation centers in the city have already been prepared, he added.