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2011’s first cyclone may reach Cebu by Wednesday- Pagasa

First Posted 07:53:00 01/30/2011

Expect heavy rains starting tomorrow, Monday, as a low pressure area is expected to reach the Philippine's tonight and develop into a storm.

Dubbed as the first typhoon of the year 2011, ?Amang? will bring heavy rains, and if its path continues, will reach Cebu by Wednesday, said Mactan chief Oscar Tabada of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

He gave a briefing in yesterday's special meeting with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council- Cebu Province.

Tabada said Cebu's sunny weather yesterday and today is part of the pattern of the monsoon or seasonal winds.

?There are two monsoons ? the Amihan and the Habagat. There's usually a break of two to three days, followed by continuous rain for five days and then another break.

?What's happening here is that after the break, bagyo dayon.?

?Lahi ni siya karon. There's a short break. We can see that it's hot today, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, it will start raining. By Tuesday, there will be wind and rain,?Tabada said in Cebuano.

However, he said the storm won't worsen into a typhoon like ?Ondoy? or a super typhoon, which brings winds of over 200 kilomters per hour.

?This won't become a supertyphoon. It's still a low pressure area. It's category may go up. It will just be a tropical storm,? Tabada added.

He advised the public to expect winds and heavy rains as the tropical cyclone would hit Cebu on Wednesday.

With this forecast, Governor Garcia set a special meeting on Monday to get updates on what rainfall to expect.

A Provincial Action Center will coordinate all reports and serve as a command post.

The Capitol will also reactivate radio communications with all cities and towns using radio sets distributed to different police stations and localities during Garcia's first term.

The radio sets on the same frequency and will come in handy if cell phone communications bog down.

Alert level 2 was raised in Cebu province by Neil Sanchez, operations officer of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).

He said this m eans they will map out strategies, monitor developments and deploy personnel in affected areas.

Units of the military, Coast Guard and police are expected to touch base with the operation center.

Sanchez said he is asking the Depatment of Health to declare a ?code white? status in hospitals so that medical staff and facilities are ready for emergencies.

?With the present conditions, I should say all areas which have rivers, low lying areas, coastal areas, and mountains are already declared risk areas,? Sanchez said.

The social welfare office reported that relief stocks of rice, canned goods, blankets, plastic mats and clothing are ready.

The National Food Authority (NFA) said it has available rice loans for each locality.

Since Pagasa has predicted a wet summer with the La Nina, the Provincial Agriculturist?s Office said it has advised farmers to adopt multi-cropping.

Provincial Agriculturist Necias Vekoy said many farmer sin the province are complaining of crop damage due to continuous rains in the past few days.

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