Marañon: ‘Always be ready against typhoons’

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Monday, January 20, 2014


NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. reiterated his appeal to Negrenses to always prepare for typhoons.

The governor made the appeal over the weekend as Tropical Depression Agaton, the first typhoon to have entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this year, caused continous rains in the Visayas and Mindanao in the past week.

Melvin Fiero of the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division said that Agaton as of 5 p.m. Sunday is located at Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur or about 220 kilometers east of Davao City with a maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour moving to the southwest direction at 5 kph.

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Agaton is expected to leave the country Wednesday afternoon, Fiero added.

He added that Agaton will continue to cause light to moderate rains in Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, while Storm Signal Number 1 is still hoisted in some areas in Mindanao.

Marañon said he hopes that with the experiences of the province from previous typhoons especially super Typhoon Yolanda, residents of low-lying areas and coastal areas would immediately follow the appeal of their respective officials whenever there would be the same circumstances in the future.

The governor had also bared plans of acquiring more equipment to better prepare the province for typhoons.

He also appealed to Negrenses not to immediately believe alarming messages except those coming from persons and agencies who are authorized by the government to disseminate information to the public.

Days after Yolanda’s devastation last November, Marañon said plans to build typhoon-proof evacuation centers in the province that would also be used as classrooms or health centers on normal days.

The governor said he has already discussed the plan with the Provincial Engineering Office. The plan is the result of the meeting of the Visayan governors where climate change and typhoons were also discussed.

Marañon said that based on scientific studies, strong typhoons as strong as or even stronger than Yolanda is imminent in the country because the hottest part of all bodies of water in the world is found near the Philippines.

“We all agreed that we were right with what we have been advocating before which is to protect the environment. We point it out that it is not only the work of the government, or the local government units. It is everybody's business to protect Mother Earth,” the governor said.

It’s about time that Negrenses redesign their buildings, he added.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 20, 2014.

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