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NDRRMC: Take precautions, Auring rains may be more intense than forecast

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday advised the public to take the necessary precautions since the effects of Tropical Storm Auring (international name: Dujuan) may be stronger than what was forecast.

"Maaaring mas malala pa... Maaring mas malakas ang kanyang idudulot. Nakita natin 'yan sa mga bagyong nagdaan, mas malakas," NDRRMC Executive Director and Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

PAGASA raised Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 over 25 areas in Visayas and Mindanao on Saturday as Auring is expected to bring moderate to at times heavy rains on Saturday morning until noon and heavy to intense rains from Saturday noon to Sunday morning in certain areas.

Rainfall will be light to moderate and at times heavy over Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, and Southern Leyte on Saturday morning until noon.

However, from noontime on Saturday until Sunday morning, heavy to intense rains are expected over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands. Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, and the rest of Caraga. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and the rest of Northern Mindanao.

From Sunday morning to Monday morning, moderate to heavy to at times intense rains were forecast over Leyte, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, MIMAROPA, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, the southern portion of Quezon, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and the rest of Visayas and Caraga.

The weather bureau warned of possible widespread flooding and rain-induced landslides in areas prone to these hazards.

"Maaaring 'yang forecast na 'yan kapag ikumpara sa actual na ibibigay ni Auring ay magkaiba. Kailangang patuloy na i-assess," Jalad said.

The NDRRMC has not yet received any report of Auring's effects as of 6 a.m. on Saturday as the storm was still over the Philippine Sea, he said. Auring is expected to make landfall over the eastern coast of Caraga region on Sunday morning or afternoon.

The NDRRMC official said local government units have already been advised to prepare for Auring's possible effects.

"Noong isang araw, nagkaroon ng abiso na i-assess ng local government units ang epekto ng Tropical Storm Auring. Nabigyan sila ng listahan ng mga lugar na may susceptibility (to flooding and landslides)," Jalad said.

LGUs have also been advised to do preemptive evacuation.

"Noong isang araw pa natin inaabisuhan na mag-preventive evacuation sa mga areas na susceptible," Jalad said.

The NDRRMC has not yet received a report of how many evacuees have been transferred to evacuation centers as of Saturday morning, he said.

Jalad reminded LGUs to ensure that social distancing is observed in evacuation centers due to the threat of transmission of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19.

"'Yung ating mga evacuation center, kailangan hindi punong-puno. 'Yung ating mga eskuwelahan ay hindi pa naman ginagamit ngayon," he said.

He added that the Philippine Coast Guard and the Office of Civil Defense are ready to respond to any disaster that may occur due to Auring.

Relief goods and standby funds were already prepositioned in anticipation of their need, Jalad said.

"Naka-preposition 'yung ating mga relief goods, even 'yung ating mga standby funds sa regional offices ng DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), ganu'n din ang Office of Civil Defense, nakakalat naman ang ating mga funds," he added.

The Department of Public Works and Highways is also ready to clear any obstruction on roads and perform other necessary tasks, Jalad said.

"Katulad ng DPWH kung may mga lugar na naapektuhan ay kaagad naman sila na kumikilos," he said.

Jalad said the government is aiming for zero casualty amid possible effects of Auring.

"'Yun ang ating aim kaya maaga tayo naghanda para sa Tropical Storm Auring. Noong naging low pressure area pa lang siya ay may coordination na tayo sa PAGASA at sa mga regional offices at tinuloy natin hanggang naging tropical depression siya at tropical storm," he said. —KG, GMA News