All local government units in Cebu Province are advised to prepare for possible flood and landslides as Tropical Storm (TS) “Auring” brings heavy rainfall and strong winds in northern and central Cebu this weekend.
According to PAGASA Visayas Chief Al Quiblat, tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) #1 may be raised in Central Visayas as early as Friday afternoon, February 19 and TCWS #2 over Central and Northern Cebu as TS Auring passes.
At 10:00am, today, February 18, the center of TS Auring was seen 685km east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometer per hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.
Possible landfall will happen from Saturday evening, February 20 to Sunday morning, February 21 over the Caraga region, Quiblat added.
With moderate to strong winds packing at 40 to 60 kilometers per hour, Central Visayas will have rough seas this weekend. Sea travel is seen to be risky and small seacrafts are advised not to venture out to the sea.
The Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Council is preparing supplies and equipment, and keeping communications open for coordination with local DRRMs.
Province Disaster Office Chief Neil Sanchez said the goal is to have zero casualty and advised LGUs to conduct pre-emptive evacuation, if necessary.
As all towns and cities of Cebu have local DRRM councils, he assured that the Capitol is ready to support the LGUs should they need assistance when the storm hits.
Water, food, and medicines are already prepositioned in strategic parts in the province while Capitol heavy equipment are available in various towns in the northern and southern part of Cebu.
The Philippine National Police has also alerted its respective police stations in the Province, coordinated with local DRRM councils, and disseminated information to guide communities on what to do to prepare for a storm.
Task Group Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor has also alerted their personnel and vehicles in Medellin, Balamban, Danao City, and in Cebu City for possible deployment for evacuation and search and rescue purposes.
The Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine Navy have also prepared their teams and vehicles and coordinated with the LGUs.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Port Authority also committed to coordinate with the LGUs for the transport of stranded passengers. (Lianne Llesol)