As tropical depression Amang makes its way towards the Bicol Region, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced that Signal No. 1 has been raised in 11 areas on Sunday afternoon. The weather bureau also said that Amang is now in the vicinity of Camarines Sur.
Affected areas include Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, and southern Quezon.
PAGASA advised residents in affected areas to brace themselves for possible flash floods and landslides, especially in high-risk areas. Fishermen and small seacraft are also advised not to venture out to sea.
The country’s weather bureau also advised the public to constantly monitor updates and to heed warnings from their respective local government units.
Amang is expected to bring moderate to heavy rainfall, with a possibility of intense rains within its 100-kilometre diameter. PAGASA warned that this may cause flash floods and landslides to occur.
As of 5:00 PM, Amang has a maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and a gustiness of up to 60 kph. It is forecasted to move west-northwestward towards the Bicol region and estimated to reach landfall on Monday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has already alerted all local government units in the Bicol region. The agency has also placed its operations center on blue alert status, and has encouraged the public to do the same.
The NDRRMC said they are closely monitoring Amang and they are ready to provide assistance to affected areas, especially in evacuation and rescue operations.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the government reminded the public to follow health protocols and to observe physical distancing in evacuation centers.
This is not the first time that the country has faced a weather disturbance amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, Typhoon Bising also hit the Philippines while it was grappling with the spread of the virus.
The Philippine government assured the public that they are prepared to handle the situation, with the Department of Health providing precautionary measures to ensure that Covid-19 transmission will be prevented during evacuation and rescue operations.
In times like this, it is important to stay alert and prepared. Remember to check local news and updates from PAGASA and to follow advisories from local government units. Stay safe and secure amidst this upcoming weather disturbance.