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The Department of Agriculture (DA) has advised farmers of the potential crop damage that may be caused by tropical depression “Ambo”.

In a virtual presser Tuesday, DA assistant secretary Noel Reyes said that even if Ambo is currently a tropical depression with the country’s area of responsibility, farmers must be prepared to harvest their crops to avoid being affected by the first storm in 2020.

Ambo has been plotted some 385 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte. It was moving slow with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph.

“Tropical depression pa lang naman itong si Ambo, mag-harvest na kayo kung mature na yong ating mga tanim at i-mobilize ito sa post-harvest equipment and facilities. I-coordinate sa Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) at probinsya para makahiram tayo ng pang-harvest at mapabilis ang pag-aani ng palay,” he said.

Fishermen were also advised to secure their fishing boats in safe areas and not to risk sailing to catch fish.

Farmers also need to secure their farm equipment, tools, and household objects in case of flooding. Equipment must be elevated away from areas that could be affected by flooding.

“Protect farm properties before the signal is upgraded. Roofings of farmhouses and other farm structures may be secured,” he said.

“Sa mga fishing grounds, i-secure niyo ang fishing boats niyo, iakyat niyo, pagtlungan at huwag na magpalaot. I-secure niyo ang inyong mga bubong at iba pa na madaling liparin ng malakas na hangin,” Reyes added.

DA also encouraged farmers and fishermen to stay updated regarding the latest position of the storm, direction, and movement change through available media platforms such as radio, television, and social media through legitimate sources.