CamSur PDRRMC convenes, province raises Blue alert status

LEGAZPI CITY (PIA)— Camarines Sur Governor Luigi R. Villafuerte placed the entire province under the Blue alert status, effective today, Thursday, June 20 in response to the possible development of Low Pressure Egay into a Tropical Depression.

This afternoon, members of the Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) and local DRRM councils convened and conducted Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment Emergency Response Plan (PDRA-ERP) for LPA pre-Egay.

The council members discussed possible disaster response and mitigation measures to ensure that contingency plans are in place. The meeting was also called to assess the potentially damaging impact of “Egay” on Camarines Sur’s vulnerable populations in the typhoon path.

PAG ASA DOST Bicol River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (BRBFFWC) Weather Specialist Nivagine Zamudio shows image of possible scenarios as LPA Egay enters PAR during the PDRRMC meeting held Thursday, July 20, 2023 via zoom. (Photo credit: PDRRMC CamSur)

PAG ASA Bicol River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (BRBFFWC) Weather Specialist Nivagine Zamudio presented the current weather situation, the possible track, and the projected impact of “Egay” in the province. She reported that at 10:00 a.m. today, the LPA was estimated at 705 km east of Borongan, Eastern Samar, and might develop into a tropical depression within the next 24 hours.

“We have two (2) scenarios. In scenario 1, Tropical Cyclone (TC) wind signal will be raised to Camarines Sur on Fri night to Saturday with a light to moderate forecast rainfall and moderate to heavy from Sunday to Monday. While there has been an increase in the Bato and Buhi lake water levels, the current level, including that in the Bicol River are still below the alert level,” Zamudio said.

While there is no threat of river flooding, if scenario 1 will happen, Zamudio added that urban and agricultural flooding is most likely to occur including flooding in small rivers outside of the Bicol River Basin.

Zamudio expounded that in the event that scenario 2 will happen, the province will experience TC wind signal on Saturday and Sunday with occasional light to moderate rainfall from Friday to Saturday. There is also a high probability of urban and agricultural flooding.

In his issued memorandum, Villafuerte directed all the local chief executives, city and MDRRMC chairpersons, punong barangays, and all PDRRMC response agencies to ensure that their respective Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) are operational on a 24/7 basis to monitor the impact of the weather disturbance.

Photo creditsII PDRRMC Camarines Sur

The governor also directed the Coast Guard to issue a NO SAILING policy if the situation necessitates. He ordered all coastal barangays to remain vigilant and keep a close watch on weather advisories.

PDRRMC Camarines Sur Operations Officer Joco Celebrado also led the discussion on the inventory of resources, including the timeline for the activation of EOC, Incident Management Team (IMT), and response clusters.  Guidelines for the deployment plan and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were also reviewed during the said meeting.

Early Warning Systems will be activated and will include monitoring and issuance of TC bulletins, thunderstorm advisories, heavy rainfall warnings, Bicol River Basin Flood bulletins, and gale warnings.

As part of PDRRMC’s preparedness protocols, radio communications groups and Infolinks were activated.  They also set up emergency hotlines, and formed an Expanded Communications Group that will disseminate information and warning advisories relative to the weather disturbance down to the 1,036 barangays of Camarines Sur of its 35 municipalities and one (1) city. (PIA 5/ Camarines Sur)

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