The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration raised signal number one over Negros Occidental and number two over Negos Oriental as Tropical Storm Basyang approached yesterday.
The Philippine Coast Guard also cancelled all sea travel starting 2 p.m. yesterday, said Lt. Senior Grade Jimmy Oliver Vingno, Philippine Coast Guard-Bacolod Station head, and caused numerous passengers to be stranded.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia ordered the suspension of classes in all public pre-school, elementary, and high schools in Bacolod today due to "Basyang."
Leonardiaissued the order after consulting with BacolodSchools Division Superintendent Cynthia Demavivas and Executive Assistant Jose Ma. Vargas, Cluster on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management head.
Vargas said the mayor declared suspension of classes from pre-school to high school because he is concerned about the dangers of floods to schoolchildren.
Floods have become a persistent, inevitable, and global problem due to the impact of climate change, Vargas said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo MarañonJr. said “I enjoin all Negrenses to pray as we expect another weather disturbance this week. We may experience strong winds and downpour in the coming days as the Coast Guard is on watch for gale warning advisories to ensure safety of sea travel.”
He also called on local government units to monitor residents in low lying communities that are prone to possible flooding, to, if necessary, go on preemptive evacuation.
The Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division yesterday issueda preparedness advisory to city and municipal disaster risk reduction management offices and directed responders to be on standby alert, PDMPD chief ZeaphardGerhart Caelian said.
They are on Blue Alert, which means preparation for a slow onset disasters, he said.
“The storm is still on waters, it can intensify at any time or may lose strength depending on the sea surface temperature. We cannot underestimate any storm; it is important that we are prepared,” he added.
Foul weather is expected until Valentine's Day tomorrow.
At 8p.m, yesterday "Basyang " was estimated 355 km east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, Pagasa said.
Maximum sustained winds was 65 kph near the center and gustiness was up to 80 kph, and is e xpected to make landfall in Caraga Region this morning, it added.
As of 2 a.m. today storm signal number 2 had been raised over Bohol, Southern Cebu, Siquijor, Negros Oriental and Southern Leyte in the Visayas; and Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, and the northern section of Bukidnon in Mindanao.
Signal number one was raised over Cuyo Islandandthe southern section of Masbate in Luzon; and Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, the rest of Cebu, Leyte, Biliran, Samar, and Eastern Samar in the Visayas.
Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, ZamboangaSibugay, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, the rest of Bukidnon, North Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, and Davao Oriental in Mindanao were also placed under storm signal number one.
Sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of Visayas, Pagasa said.*CPG
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