VisMin landslide, flooding threats persist despite milder rain forecast

MANILA -- Landslides and flash floods are still possible in the Visayas and Mindanao even if these areas may already experience less intense rain in forthcoming days due to deterioration of the tail-end of a cold front causing wet weather there.

The risk for landslides and flash floods there remain particularly in areas that already experienced such occurrences earlier this month and where soil is already saturated from previous days' downpour, said weather forecaster Robb Gile from State-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration(PAGASA).

"Communities concerned must still prepare for possible onslaught of landslides and flash floods," he said.

He urged preparation as parts of the Visayas and Mindanao are reeling from landslides and flash floods triggered by downpour from tail-end of a cold front and low-pressure areas that affected the country this month.

In its weather advisory 2 released Friday, PAGASA said tail-end of a cold front's effect over the Visayas' eastern section already weakened.

"However, cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms will continue to prevail over Bicol Region, the Visayas and Mindanao," it said.

Gile said PAGASA included Bicol in its forecast since this agency monitored a band of clouds heading towards this region.

"We expect light to moderate rain there, the Visayas and Mindanao during the next two to three days," he said.

He isn't discounting the possibility of such areas experiencing more intense rain afterwards, however.

Another tail-end of a cold front may bring such rain there, he said.

Earlier, PAGASA said data indicate a frontal system is beginning to develop in the vicinity of Japan.

Such development can result in another tail-end of a cold front, noted PAGASA.

That new tail-end of a cold front may affect the Philippines beginning next week, Gile said.

If such happens, he said Southern Luzon, Quezon and parts of Eastern Visayas will likely be affected first.

He, however, noted that it's still unclear if the new tail-end of a cold front will affect Mindanao.

Latest available National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) data so far show flooding affected 273 areas in the Visayas' Regions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and Negros Island Region, as well as a village in Misamis Occidental province.

NDRRMC also reported landslides in the Visayan provinces of Southern Leyte and Leyte aside from flash floods in the Visayas' Negros Occidental province and Mindanao's Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao provinces.

The inclement weather affected nearly 67,000 people, NDRRMC added. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency