Bohol braces vs typhoon months

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Bohol braces vs typhoon months

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Short of urban planning, our poor drainage system invites flashfloods again to Bohol as the year faces a culmination with typhoons.

Bohol is supposed to have  had enough lessons from Typhoons Ruby, Queenie, and Seniang already in addition to the lateral swipe of Supertyphoon Yolanda.

Now with the obviously climate change-enhanced afternoon downpours, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) made more frequent communication with municipal counterparts and the city.

The slow response from DPWH on the drainage system problem could barely catch up as to the exigency, thus, quick response teams throughout the province have to double the rounds at this time of the year.

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Early last night, true to PAGASA forecast, several areas of Bohol experienced light to moderate rain in Panglao, Dauis, Alburquerque, Baclayon, Tagbilaran City, Corella, Cortes, Antequera, Maribojoc, and Loon and nearby areas.

The downpour that went a little beyond the estimated moderate rain in some areas lasted close to one hour.

PAGASA, in the same forecast, also estimated southern Cebu to experience the same light to moderate rain.

Even as Typhoon Karen is expected to hit the far Aurora, its pack of maximum winds of 180 kilometers (112 miles) per hour brought heavy rains to distant areas and havoc to closer areas.

In fact, Typhoon Karen is expected to be “the most damaging” storm this year, though not the most powerful, according to PAGASA.

In Tagbilaran City, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has been conducting rounds of community-based Disaster Preparedness and Solid Waste Management seminars in the barangays since the start of the rainy season. The latest round was in barangay Ubujan on October 15.

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In his welcome address during the Rescue Tools Simulation Exercise and Inter-Connectivity Solutions seminar on October 13, City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II articulated Tagbilaran’s direction to establishment of concrete disaster reduction and management programs.

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In the activity spearheaded by the provincial government’s quick response team, TARSIER 117, Yap “underscored the importance of harnessing technology to improve disaster preparedness programs”.

The city government is planning to establish a P40-million evacuation center and modern command center.

For the whole week last week, several roads in the city have been flooded by rainwater in the afternoons in the absence of a working drainage system as the flood water easily rises in few minutes.

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Without a wastewater treatment facility, the city holds back releasing water to the Cogon portion of the Tagbilaran Strait adjacent to the city tourist seaport.

Resident weather resource person, retired international ship captain Jun Mendez, had earlier estimated after the Typhoon Seniang episode that Bohol’s relative humidity of is attracting rains.

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In reference to his earlier statement, the people will have to watch if the relative humidity reaches 95-100 percent at a time that the weather disturbance is coming.

Typhoon Seniang that hit the province on December 29, 2014 submerged almost 90 percent of Bohol.

Torrential rains brought about by Typhoon Ruby approaching in the first week of that month flooded several coastal areas, notably- -Jagna.

  In November 2014, Typhoon Queenie wreaked havoc on the coastal barangays where several homes were totally and partially damaged, numerous pumpboats were destroyed, and caused damage on the farms.

“The triumvirate of Typhoons Queenie, Ruby and Seniang, caused massive flooding in our agricultural areas, not to mention causing havoc and destruction even in our poblacion areas,” as Gov. Edgar Chatto had described it.

DILG-Bohol Cluster Head Ma. Reina Quilas also urged Bohol residents to always prepare for the worst, considering that Philippines ranks “third in 15 countries with highest risk” to hazards.

Quilas also noted that aside from being third among the countries with highest risk, Philippines also ranks third among the 15 countries most exposed to natural hazards.

“The Philippines is no.1 country visited by wind storm. The country’s geographical location is prone to be subjected to wind storm,”Quilas added.

On this, DILG-Bohol has been conducting rounds of dialogues on Operation Listo—a project of the national government that ensures local officials take the “correct steps” in responding to calamities and its aftermath, and briefings on the disaster preparedness manuals.

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