By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY --- Various disaster councils across Bicol have been placed on heightened alert on Saturday as a low pressure area in the vicinity of Coron, Palawan can bring moderate rains which may trigger flash floods, mudflows and landslide in low-lying areas and mountain slopes in the region, said the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC).
Blanche Gobenciong, Office of Civil Defense-Bicol (OCD-5) director and concurrent RDRRMC chair, issued an advisory to all Provincial DRRMCs to prepare for pre-emptive measures.
The issuance of a weather alert status has been prompted by a bulletin from the local weather bureau stating that a 12-hour rainfall would occur on Saturday.
It said the rainfall would bring light to moderate rains and thunderstorms that would produce floods, mudflows and landslides in villages in the six Bicol provinces.
Low-lying areas, specifically major river channels and tributaries, including mountain slopes, will be affected, added the advisory.
OCD-RDRRMC has identified the river channels likely to be affected in the six provinces.
In Catanduanes, these include Cabuyaban, Bato and Pajo rivers;
Camarines Norte-Labo, Daet and Basud rivers;
Camarines Sur-Lower Kilbay, Catabangan, Ragay, Tinalmud, Tamban and Lagonoy rivers;
Sorsogon–Lower Donsol, Ogod, Putiao, Cadacan, Banuang-Duan, Fabrica and Matnog rivers.
In Masbate-Lanang, Mapayawan, Mandaoang, Asid, Malbag, Guiom, Nainday, Daraga, Nauco and Baleno rivers.
In Albay – Quenali and upper Donsol river.
The advisory warned residents living in low-lying areas to take precautionary measures against the possible swelling of rivers and occurrence of landslides in mountain slopes.
Gobenchiong also advised residents to evacuate immediately “as an emergency response action” once the situation worsens.