The government weather bureau has advised Palawan residents to prepare for possible flooding, landslides, and strong winds and waves that might be caused by Tropical Storm Basyang, which had entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Monday.
Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) local weatherman Sonny Pajarilla particularly warned fishermen to heed the “no sail policy” as Signal No. 1 had already been hoisted over the province.
“Signal No. 1 tayo sa buong Palawan at maaari tayong maka-experience ng moderate-to-heavy rains, at ang rain rate ay nasa pagitan ng 2.5 to 15 millimeters per hour,” he said.
He said scattered rains can already be expected by Tuesday, which will strengthen by early Wednesday morning and last the whole afternoon.
“Sa inland, may pag-ulan nang inaasahan. Pagdating ng Miyerkules ng madaling araw, maghapon na at lalakas. Lalakas din ang hangin mga dakong tanghali,” he said.
Pajarilla said residents living in coastal areas that are sensitive to even moderate rains, and wind and wave strength should now evacuate to safer places.
“Asahan na natin na magtataas ng storm warning signal dito sa atin at mas lalakas ang amihan. Abisuhan na ang mga kamag-anak na umahon na sa dagat o di kaya ay umalis na malapit sa dagat,” he said.
He also warned seafarers to avoid seeking shelter on Mangsee island as it is no longer a safe haven for them after what happened during the onslaught of tropical storm Vinta.
“Ang mga nagtatago sa Mangsee, ay huwag na magtago doon dahil ang bagyo natin ay pupuwedeng dumaan doon. Hindi natin sinasabi na doon ang track nito, pero baka, with some eventuality baka dumapo pa doon,” Jaranilla said.
Fishermen in the southern part of the province should remain on land, or seek shelter somewhere else.
“Kaya maraming namatay noong Vinta, actually sa mga fishing boats iyong mga namatay dahil doon sila nag-take shelter (Mangsee). So sinasabi naming, huwag doon mag-take shelter,” he said.
Meanwhile, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) will hold a meeting Tuesday in preparation for Basyang, said information officer Richard Ligad.
Provincial Information Officer Gil Acosta, on the other hand, announced that 1,000 sacks of rice had already been pulled out from the province’s buffer stocks to be distributed to families that might be affected by the weather disturbance.
Tropical Storm Basyang (international name: Sanba) was last seen at 435 kilometers east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur as of 4 p.m. on Monday.