By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis
LUNA, Apayao, Nov. 15(PIA) -- While relief and response operations are being conducted in the province of Apayao due to flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains last week, residents are called to prepare for tropical storm Ramon.
PAGASA Northern Luzon Weather Observer Ranchelle Parcon said that TS Ramon on Friday morning, (Nov. 15) continued making its way toward Northern Luzon where it is expected to make landfall over the weekend.
In the 10AM report on Friday, the center of TS Ramon was estimated based on all available data at 420 km East Northeast of Casiguran, Aurora or 460 km East of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. It is moving North Northwest slowly with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (KPH) near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.
Parcon explained that TS Ramon is not expected to intensify and will maintain its strength as a tropical storm until Tuesday next week but heavy rains are again expected in Northern Luzon including Apayao.
“We should expect light to moderate and intermittent heavy rains over the weekend in the whole of Northern Luzon including the province of Apayao which was recently devastated by heavy rains causing flooding and landslides,” she said.
Ramon is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Wednesday and rains are still expected the whole week next week.
Apayao Gov. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang called on her fellow Iapayaos to stay safe with the weather disturbance.
“To the people in Apayao, we need to stay safe. Those who are living near flood prone and landslide prone areas are called to conduct pre-emptive evacuation to the nearest and safest evacuation enters in their communities to ensure that each and every Iapayao will be safe during the expected onslaught of typhoon Ramon,” Begtang said during the Apayao PDRRMC and Emergency Response and Preparedness meeting in Luna on Thursday.
Thousands of Iapayaos just experienced the effects of the massive flooding and landslides caused by the heavy rains brought by the tail end of a cold front near Northern Luzon.
Begtang noted that in the midst of the flooding and landslides, the IApayao showed resiliency and cooperation.
Meanwhile, DSWD-CAR Regional Director Leo Quintilla informed that while relief operations are being done in Apayao, they are also replenishing the family food packs that have been distributed. The DSWD-CAR has already distributed 8,595 family food packs and 165 sleeping kits to the affected families in the province.
He explained that since family food packs which were pre-positioned to the different warehouses of the partner agencies of DSWD such as the Philippine Army based in Kalinga, there is a need to replenish the family food packs to ensure that there will be enough when another disaster occurs.
Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Chairperson, OCD-CAR Regional Director Alberto Mogol said the different line agencies and the local government units are working together to ensure that there will be no casualty with the incoming weather disturbance. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)