DOH warns public vs. landslides

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The Department of Health (DOH) has released an advisory on coping with landslides during the rainy season.

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The DOH on Monday said landslides happen when there are unstable slopes during or after heavy rains or droughts, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

Mountainous and sloping areas are more likely to experience landslides, it added.

To cope with landslides, the DOH said, one must first find out whether landslides had occurred in his area by contacting local authorities.

“Listen to the radio, watch TV or use the Internet for weather updates. Contact local authorities about emergency and evacuation plans,” the department added.

The DOH warned Filipinos living in an area vulnerable to landslides to consider evacuating soon.

“Be wary of holes or bare spots on hillsides and tilted trees or fences/riprap may also indicate unstable slope,” it said.

According to the DOH, “rumbling sounds may be a sign of an approaching landslide.”

It also warned drivers to be alert when driving along sloping areas as roads may be blocked or impassable owing to collapsed pavement or debris.

“Get away from any debris flow,” the DOH said. “Move to the nearest high ground or run for the nearest shelter and take cover [if possible, under a desk, table or other piece of sturdy furniture].”

The DOH advised the public to stay away from the area where a landslide had just occurred. “Flooding or additional slides may occur after and check for injured or trapped people near the affected area.”

The department advised landslide victims to immediately get in touch with the National Disaster and Risk Reduction and Management Council and Philippine National Police.

Also on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said light to moderate rains are expected over some parts of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon due to the trough of a low pressure area (LPA) affecting these areas.

Pagasa weather forecaster Buddy Javier said the trough or extended clouds of LPA will bring cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms over the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon.

Javier added that the LPA is still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility and has a small chance to enter PAR since its moving upward toward Taiwan.

He said the agency has monitored another weather disturbance in the western section of extreme Northern Luzon that is expected to enter the PAR anytime.

Based on their models, Javier added, the LPA has a small chance to intensify into a tropical cyclone but will bring rains over the western section of Luzon.

But he said they continue to monitor the LPA and once it intensifies into a cyclone, it will be locally named “Ester,” the first cyclone for the month of June and the fifth for this year.

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