TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas received on Wednesday 5,000 food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Visayas Disaster Resource Center as augmentation for the region.
The augmentation from Cebu City will raise the region’s capability to respond to the needs of local government units especially during typhoon season this quarter, said Abelardo Bibat, DSWD Eastern Visayas regional information officer in a phone interview.
“Currently, we have 15,296 food packs stored at the DSWD Regional Resource Operations Section in Palo, Leyte, and in our warehouses established in strategic locations in the region,” Bibat said.
Identified as strategic locations are those areas near the shoreline and low-lying communities, he said.
Of the 15,296 food packs, some 10,446 are stored at the DSWD regional warehouse in Palo town; 3,650 in Northern Samar; 1,000 in Samar; and 200 in Eastern Samar.
Each food pack consists of rice, canned goods, and coffee, packed in a small box for one family.
Storing food packs in different strategic locations before a calamity will allow the DSWD to immediately respond to requests of local government units.
Under the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, the local governments are the first responders and the DSWD is tasked to augment the response efforts after disasters.
Typhoons and frequent rains are expected to prevail every last quarter in the region, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Meanwhile, in an advisory issued Wednesday, PAGASA identified several rivers in six provinces that would likely be affected by the downpour brought about by a low-pressure area affecting several areas in the Visayas.
These rivers are Sangputan, Palo, Solano, Daguitan, Marabong, Cadacan, Bongquirogon, Salug, Pagbanagaran, Pagsangahan, and Binahaan in Leyte; Catarman, Bugko, Pambujan, Catubig, Palapag, Mano, and Gamay in Northern Samar.
Other rivers include Oras, Dolores, Ulot, Taft, Borongan, Suribao, Llorente, Balangiga, and Sulat in Eastern Samar; Basey, Silaga, Calbiga, and Jibatan in Samar; Bisay, Himbangan, and Pandan in Southern Leyte; and all river systems in Biliran.
People living in low-lying areas near these river systems have been advised to stay alert for possible flash floods.
Those residing near mountain slopes have been told to watch out for signs of landslides.
This is the second day in a row that the state weather bureau issued a flood alert for the region.
On Tuesday, Pagasa issued a general flood advisory due to the tail end of a cold front.