By Francis Wakefield
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Operations Center will raise its Alert Status from White to Blue at 8 a.m. Monday (March 18) for Tropical Depression “Chedeng” which entered the country’s area of responsibility Sunday (March 17).
In a statement, the NDRRMC has advised the public to prepare and continuously monitor weather updates via radio, television and social media.
Tourists were also advised to cancel activities like mountaineering and swimming until the tropical depression has left the country or abate.
The NDRRMC convened Sunday, March 17, the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment meeting relevant to the possible effects of the tropical depression east of Mindanao.
The meeting was presided by DILG Director Edgar Allan Tabell and attended by representatives of NDRRMC member-agencies which includes the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DoH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Regional Offices in regions 9, 10, 11 and BARMM also participated in the activity via teleconference.
PAGASA presented the projected rainfall of the Tropical Depression looming east of Mindanao just outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
The Tropical Depression is expected to enter the PAR later tonight until early morning Monday and will bring light to moderate rains to the Eastern Seaboard of Mindanao. It will bring moderate to heavy rains as it makes landfall in Davao Oriental between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Although there is a possibility that the Tropical Depression may abate into a Low-Pressure Area as it traverses over the sea east of Mindanao, PAGASA projects it may still bring light to heavy rain and advises people to remain alert and prepare for the hazards it may impose.
The NDRRMC, through PAGASA and MGB, further assessed that areas prone to landslide and flooding in Mindanao are advised to take precaution. Likewise, those living in coastal areas are advised to prepare for possible hazards, and sea vessels to proceed with caution.
The DSWD, on the other hand, has ensured prepositioned items and equipment necessary for response in their regional offices. DILG has alerted the Local Government Units (LGUs) likely to be affected in accordance with the revised Operation L!sto protocols.
The NDRRMC said it is closely monitoring updates and incidents related to this weather system.