The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has identified 317 barangays in Negros Occidental as prone to flooding and landslides.
There are 662 barangays in Negros Occidental, including 61 in highly urbanized Bacolod City. These areas, as reported by MGB, have a 50mm threshold level for flooding and landslide. Of the 317 barangays, 56 of them were categorized by the MGB as very high on flooding, high flooding – 56, very high on landslide – 20 and 115 others high in landslide, PIMT said, citing a report of MGB.
PIMT head Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian disclosed that the Oplan Listo sa Tag ulan of the provincial government of Negros Occidental, has been declared by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Caelian said that an LPA trough is now affecting Negros Occidental and Bacolod, which have experienced isolated rain showers and thunderstorms over the past several days. He also reported that an LPA which was spotted in Palawan is now being followed by another LPA.
This prompted Gov. Lacson to issue an operational plan for all local government units in Negros Occidental to follow, including the COVID-19 protocols to be observed in evacuation centers.
Because of rains in the past five days, there is now an accumulation of water in soil and waterways, which may cause flooding in barangays near creeks, rivers and lakes, he added.
In a pre-disaster risk assessment, Caelian said a tropical cyclone threat potential is likely to occur on January 4 to 10, which will likely cross Visayas and is an imminent threat to Negros Occidental.
A low-pressure area (LPA) will cause scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Palawan, the Visayas and Mindanao on Wednesday, the weather bureau said. These areas could experience flash floods or landslides due to moderate, to at times heavy rains, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 5 a.m. weather bulletin. The LPA was last tracked 195 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It is less likely to develop into a tropical depression in the next 24 hours, PAGASA said. Rough to very rough seas are forecast over the eastern seaboards of Luzon, the western and northern seaboards of Northern Luzon, the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, and the eastern seaboard of the Visayas.
PAGASA advised fishing boats and other small vessels not to venture into the sea, and larger sea vessels have been alerted against big waves.
(Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS) with reports from Philippine News Agency, photo courtesy of TVDS)