The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced Sunday that the first storm to hit the country this year, Ambo, is picking up speed. Last night, the forecast was that Ambo will be 430 km East of Surigao City, 350 km east of Borongan, Eastern Samar by Tuesday evening, 285 km east of of Virac, Catanduanes by Wednesday evening, 35 km east of Daet Camarines by Thursday evening and 75 km Northwest of Baguio City by Friday evening.
It will be a week then of rain showers and thunderstorms, not to mention raising once again precautions for safety for those people living in flood prone areas or beside the banks of the river. Fishermen are also cautioned not to venture out due to rough seas expected in the eastern seaboards of Caraga, Davao Oriental and Occidental, and Eastern Visayas.
The Philippines is one the countries in the world most visited by typhoons. According to Gerry Pedrico, regional chief of PagAsa, during a training of journalists on covering disasters last year, an estimated 20 typhoons sweep through the country and most oftentimes leave disaster in its wake.
The local government units have been mobilized, through RA 10121 , to craft their own risk reduction and management plan to address specific concerns in their areas. The local government is mandated to have its own disaster prevention, response and rehabilitation as well as recovery strategies. The Office of Civil Defense coordinates all efforts when disaster strikes and even in the massive education and information needed at the local level.
Floodings that leave death and destruction in its wake, tell us how important it is to have a sound disaster prevention and risk reduction plan. Disaster is everyone’s business. Each individual, school, community and town should be well informed and educated in disaster preparedness and prevention. We cannot control nature, but we can mitigate the impact of natural disasters.