The provincial government of Negros Oriental and its local government units are gearing up for the possible onslaught of tropical storm Auring this weekend.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has already issued a warning to communities on possible flooding and landslides.
PDRRMO chief, Adrian Sedillo, said that Gov. Roel Degamo on Thursday called on the DRRM councils in the different LGUs to brace for “Auring” that is making its way across the country and currently located off Surigao del Sur.
The PDRRM council convened yesterday for a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) meeting to lay down a preparedness response plan for the looming storm, he said.
While current weather reports project the track of “Auring” as moving northwest and not hitting Negros Oriental directly, Sedillo noted that the storm has a huge cloud band of about 400 to 500-kilometer radius.
This would mean that from the center of its track, it will cover the entire Negros Island and bring rains, Sedillo said in a mix of English and Cebuano.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said “Auring” could intensify into a severe tropical storm and thus warned, especially the northern part of the province, “to be really watchful and on high alert because it will bring light to moderate to heavy and, at times, intense rains”, he said.
Sedillo said that due to constant rains since late last year, “PAGASA said that the ground here is already saturated, which makes it dangerous or prone to flooding and landslides”.
The significant period to watch out for is this weekend, specifically between this afternoon until tomorrow morning as per PAGASA warning, he said.
He called on communities to be mindful of, and heed the advisories from their LGUs and not wait to evacuate to safer grounds until the last minute.
As of the latest report from the state weather bureau, “Auring” has remained stationary in the Caraga area and the exact time of its passing through Central Visayas and Negros Island could still not be ascertained, Sedillo said.*PNA