Heavy rains brought by tropical depression (TD) Falcon has disrupted power services in El Nido, triggered landslides and cut off the tourist town from sea access.
The Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) activated its operations center to maximize monitoring activities and undertake precautionary measures because of more possible incidents.
PDRRMO chief Jeremias Alili said minor flooding, power interruption, and landslides have been reported in El Nido since 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
“‘Yong Coron to El Nido fast craft trips were also canceled by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) today,” Alili told Palawan News.
Alili said they have already installed warning signs in landslide-prone areas in the province, including El Nido.
He said public commuters and residents should be extra alert when traversing these areas to avoid accidents.
“Naglagay tayo ng mga signages, kasama diyan ang landslide sa El Nido kung saan after few days nagkaroon ng landslide. Maliban dyan naglagay tayo ng ibang warning sa mga flood and storm surge prone areas. The purpose of these signages is to warn the people that it is a hazard-prone area, especially when it rains you have to be careful,” he also said.
Meanwhile, Alili also said that local government units (LGUs) should act on houses built near hazard areas by strictly implementing the land use plan and zoning.
He said they have particularly placed El Nido and Coron under close watch because of their hazard-prone areas.
“In El Nido, we had problems with the access roads and the landslide-prone areas with communities established just right below it,” he pointed out.
As of 5 p.m. on July 16, light and moderate rains have been reported in the four municipalities of Coron, Culion, Linapacan, and Busuanga in the Calamianes Islands Group.
Cloudy to moderate and heavy rains, on the other hand, were monitored in southern Palawan municipalities, including Kalayaan in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
In northern Palawan, light-to-heavy rains have been recorded in six municipalities.
Classes have been suspended in all levels as of 12 noon on July 16 in Coron town; elementary level in Rizal municipality; kinder to senior high in El Nido, and elementary in Cuyo due to TD Falcon.
Operation centers have been activated to be on 24 hours monitoring, meanwhile, in El Nido, Taytay, Roxas, and Narra municipalities, Alili said.
He said his office is also currently conducting a dead and missing person training.
The training aims to improve the response capability of rescuers in identifying and securing dead bodies, Alili said.