Digicast Negros

Blue alert raised in WV to boost El Niño response

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting  on Tuesday*

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has raised its alert status to blue effective Tuesday, April 23, as the drought and heat brought on by the El Niño phenomenon continues to grip Western Visayas, RDRRMC VI chairman Raul Fernandez said.

EB Magalona and Pulupandan towns in Negros Occidental cancelled face-to-face classes on Wednesday, April 24, with the heat index in the province forecasted to be at 42 degrees Celsius, which is classified as dangerous.

The total drought damage to Western Visayas has hit P770 million as of April 16,  Fernandez, who is also the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)  6 regional director, said. 

Blue alert means heightened coordination among regional line agencies in providing assistance to affected residents, such as relief goods and water, he said. 

Aside from enhanced monitoring and coordination, blue alert is a prerequisite for the OCD to utilize its quick response fund for operations related to El Niño, he said.

Blue alert was declared as a response to the below-normal rainfall conditions experienced over the past months leading to adverse effects on water resources, particularly in the provinces of Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Guimaras, the RDRRMC VI announced in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the latest weather outlook from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, these areas are currently facing drought conditions exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon, it said. 

In adherence to the agreements reached during the coordination meeting of the Regional El Niño Team held Monday, the RDRRMC VI implemented  the Blue Alert status effective 8 a.m. Tuesday. 

This proactive measure aims to intensify monitoring and coordination efforts to mitigate any potential untoward incidents throughout the duration of El Niño, the RDRRMC VI said 

It said  logistics, law and order, food and non-food, health and education clusters have been activated to facilitate emergency response and humanitarian assistance in addressing the impacts of the El Niño. 

The RDRRMC VI also urges all stakeholders, government agencies, and the public to remain vigilant and cooperative in implementing  measures to mitigate the effects of El Niño and ensure the safety and well-being of affected Ilonggos. 

   Fernandez said so far Antique province, Iloilo City, Kabankalan City and San Enrique in Negros Occidental, and two municipalities each in Guimaras and Iloilo province have declared states of calamity due to scarcity of water. 

He said of the P770 million drought damage to crops in Western Visayas,  Iloilo province had the highest amount at P519 million followed by Antique at P130 million, Negros Occidental – P78 million, Aklan P30 million and Capiz – P12 million. 

The OCD’s  reported amount of damage has been validated  by the Department of Agriculture national office, so if the Negros Occidental Office of  the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA)  report  is much higher that is because it still has to be subjected to validation, Fernandez said. 

The OPA on April 17 reported that the damage to rice and corn in Negros Occidental has hit P184.7 million. 

The  P770 million reported crop damage in Western Visayas also does not include damage to sugarcane that is being determined by the Sugar Regulatory Administration and will be consolidated by the Department of Agriculture,  Fernandez said.* 

Exit mobile version
Skip to toolbar