Fine weather will prevail over the weekend after the weeklong heavy downpour.
But the Mactan bureau of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said rains are likely to return on Monday after a low-pressure area (LPA) was spotted more than 500 kilometers east of Mindanao.
This weather disturbance, forecast to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Sunday evening or Monday morning, may affect the Visayas region within next week.
Romeo Aguirre, weather specialist of Pagasa – Mactan, told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview that the LPA first spotted in Albay province, southeastern Luzon, which intensified into a tropical depression at 4 p.m. yesterday is expected to exit PAR today (Sunday).
“(The tropical depression) was the one that brought heavy rains over Cebu in the past weekdays. So now it’s about to exit, fine weather is expected to prevail until Sunday. But there will still be light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms,” Aguirre said.
The tropical depression was named Nando, the 13th major weather disturbance that entered PAR this year, and the fourth for the month of September.
Nando was spotted 280 kilometers northwest of Dagupan City and moving at a speed of 24 kilometers per hour, with winds of 45 KPH towards the West Philippine Sea and is expected to intensify further into a tropical cyclone in the next 36 hours, where it will be out of PAR.
Aguirre said they are now monitoring another LPA that formed more than 500 kilometers east of Mindanao, and is forecast to enter PAR tonight or tomorrow morning.
“This LPA will bring more rains to Cebu next week, and if our data will not be changed, this weather disturbance may make a landfall in Cebu within next week too. Probably, moderate to heavy rains will be experienced if ever this happens,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO) is closely monitoring three identified landslide-prone mountain barangays in the city.
These barangays are Casili, Tawason and Cubacub.
“Karong semanaha, humok na kaayo atong yuta tungod sa pila ka adlaw nga sigi nalang og uwan so gi – advisan namo ang mga residents nga pagmatngon pirmi (The soil is very loose because of the heavy rains in the past few days, so we advised the residents to always be alert),” said Felix Suico Jr., head of the MCDRRMO.
“Kung naay uwan gani nga dugay kaayo mahuman, kinahanglang mag-evacuate nalang sila kaysa mabutang pa sa peligro ang ilang mga kinabuhi (If there are heavy rains lasting long periods, they should just evacuate instead of risking their lives),” he added.
Responders from the MCDRRMO are ready to be deployed 24/7.
The amount of rainfall in Cebu for September 2017 has exceeded the average. Aguirre said that as of Friday evening, their data showed 241.6 millimeters of rainfall.
The average rainfall in Cebu for September is only 178.3 millimeters. According to Aguirre, this would reflect a higher probability of landslide and soil erosion.
“Since the rainfall in September has exceeded its average, this means that the ground is very saturated already which causes soil erosion, and worse, landslides. That’s why we’re also advising the public to stay away from landslide-prone areas, where the earth is already soft,” he explained.
He added the country will experience more weather disturbances before the month ends.
“There are more weather disturbances to come. It is advisable for residents staying in low-lying areas, nearby rivers and landslide-prone areas to evacuate. We should be watchful in our surroundings especially when it rains,” added Aguirre.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) however recorded no landslides and serious flooding in Cebu as of yesterday afternoon.
In a phone interview with CDN, PDRRMO chief Baltazar Tribunalo said he is grateful that no further casualties were reported, and that people have obeyed instructions from their respective local government units to evacuate hazardous areas.
“Thank God no more lives were claimed. But we’re still urging our residents to fully obey what we are advising. We are aiming for zero-casualty in natural disasters like flashfloods and landslides. That’s why we needed their cooperation,” added Tribunalo.