Power, telecom back in Banaue but warning up anew for landslides with monsoon rains 

Power, telecom back in Banaue but warning up anew for landslides with monsoon rains 

POLICE officers, along with other members of emergency response teams, clear out mud from houses of residents who have sought assistance. — PNP-2ND IFUGAO PMFC 

THE CORDILLERA disaster management office on Monday called on local teams to prepare for possible landslides and flash floods as southwest monsoon rain affects the region, which includes the town of Banaue that was recently struck by mudslide.  

“Cordillera Administrative Region will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to the southwest monsoon and localized thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms may occur,” the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said.   

“The public and all Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils are advised to take appropriate actions.”   

The agency also reported that as of Sunday afternoon, electricity and telecommunication services have been restored in Banaue after the July 7 mudslide that swept through the municipality.   

Water supply is still a problem as the main system in the town center has yet to be restored, it said.     

On transport access, the Civil Defense office said all “national roads within the municipality are passable to motorcycles and light vehicles only.”  

The Bangaan-Batad municipal road, however, is still closed due to landslides that occurred on the afternoon of July 8.  

Clearing operations by disaster response teams were also continuing for roads, public areas as well as residential properties.  

Frankie Cortez, chief of OCD-Cordillera operations section, said 1,054 families in Banaue and some residents in neighboring Hungduan town have been displaced by the mudslide.   

In an interview with One Balita Pilipinas on CignalTV on Monday, Mr. Cortez said assessment is ongoing in the affected areas to determine which parts will be declared as danger zones.    

The evaluation is being conducted by a team from the regional emergency response council led by representatives from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.   

“Once there is an official report, then we can start discussing the possible relocation site that, as we said, will be a safe place where families can transfer to,” Mr. Cortez said in mixed English and Filipino.    

Meanwhile, a low pressure area (LPA) on the eastern side of the country was also bringing rain in parts of the country, according to weather bureau PAGASA.   

In its 11 a.m. Monday bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA was “less likely” to develop into a tropical depression within the next 48 hours.   

The LPA as of 10 a.m. was located 290 kilometers east of Legazpi City in Albay.   

Moderate to heavy rains due to the southwest monsoon and LPA were expected in the following areas: Palawan, Mindoro provinces, Quezon, Bicol Region, Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar. — MSJ