MANILA

Over 3,000 evacuated ahead of typhoon

ALBAY. The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) trims trees along national highways as a typhoon mitigation project. The project started on November 13, 2019. (Photo from Al Francis Bichara Facebook)

OVER 3,000 individuals were preemptively evacuated ahead of Typhoon Tisoy (international name Kammuri), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday, December 2.

In its update on the typhoon, the NDRRMC said 890 families or 3,008 persons were evacuated in 11 barangays in Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

It said a total of 4,603 passengers in Batangas, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Southern and Northern Quezon, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Aklan, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Northern Samar and Western, Southern and Eastern Leyte.

A total of 1,025 rolling cargoes, 73 merchant vessels, 41 motor bancas were not allowed to venture out to sea due to bad weather.

As of noon Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said there were a total of 6,070 stranded passengers in Southern Tagalog, Western Visayas, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas.

“Naka-blue alert tayo ngayon (NDRRMC) in view of the storm at ang mga local government units (LGU) ay napagsabihan na last week pa. Na-remind sila on possible effects of the typhoon lalo na ‘yung mga LGUs na nakakasakop sa landslide-prone, flood-prone at storm surge-prone sa eastern seaboards ng Pilipinas,” NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said in an interview.

“Kasi sa laki ng bagyo na ito may projection na baka daw mag-change ng direction sa landfall, instead sa Catanduanes baka sa Sorsogon magkaroon ng land landfall, at ‘yung tatamaan hindi na South Luzon baka papuntang dagat papuntang Mindoro palabas ng bansa,” he added.

He said relief goods have been prepositioned to ensure that these are easily accessible.

Typhoon Tisoy has strengthened, with maximum sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 185 kph. As of 1 p.m. Monday, Tisoy was spotted 195 kilometers east of Juban, Sorsogon.

PNP preparations

For its part, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said in anticipation of the effects of Tisoy, PNP officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie has ordered the immediate activation of the national headquarters battle staff for the command, control and disaster response preparations of the concerned PNP units.

“In anticipation sa landfall nitong Bagyong Tisoy ang lahat ng mga resources, personnel ng operational at support units at maging ‘yung mga disaster response units ay naka-preposition na ngayon doon sa mga lugar na inaasahan na talagang maapektuhan nitong Bagyong Tisoy,” he said .

“Katuwang tayo lahat ng LGUs sa pagsasagawa ng mga preemptive evacuations at ang buong Bicol region ay nagsasagawa na nito so lahat ng mga nakatira sa malalapit na dalampasigan ay tinutulungan ng PNP na magsagawa ng paglilikas at preventive evaucation at dito naman sa NHQ ay merong tayong battle staff na tinalaga na syang mangunguna sa critical incident management at disaster response ng PNP at tayo ay patuloy na nanawagan sa ating mga kababayan na nakatira sa mga lugar na maaaring daanan nitong bagyong Tisoy to stay safe, alert at informed,” he added.

Banac also urged the public not to take for granted the warning being sent by the government through mobile phones.

Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año also directed the concerned government agencies to ensure their presence in their respective places to personally oversee disaster management operations.

“As head of their respective Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, governors, mayors, and punong barangays are expected to be in their respective stations to man the incident command center and vigilantly monitor the situation on the ground,” he said.

He said LGUs must keep an eye on sea and river levels as well as settlements in low-lying areas or near riverbanks which have experienced recent and repeated flooding as well as those at the base of sliding slopes or ridges and areas identified as very high or critical landslide zone.

Año said local authorities should also restrict or ban tourist activities such as mountaineering, surfing, hiking, diving within their areas of jurisdiction to avoid any possible accidents caused by the weather disturbance.

“Small-scale miners should also be advised to stay in safer grounds and avoid any mining activities for the time being. It is also essential to ensure that communication lines are working in order to regularly inform local communities of situation updates and preparedness actions of the localities and to advise the national government on what assistance it could provide to affected communities,” he said.

He also reminded local executives to continuously monitor all PAGASA weather advisories and typhoon bulletins for guidance and carry out early and critical preparedness actions indicated in the DILG’s Operation Listo, a checklist for LGUs on what to do during, before and after a typhoon.

Albay preparations

In Albay, which is among the areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 3, Governor Al Francis C. Bichara said preparations were ongoing to ensure zero casualty.

In a statement, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) said it will distribute 2,000 sacks of National Food Authority (NFA) rice and relief packs to the evacuees Monday afternoon, December 2, 2019.

According to Eva Grageda, head of PSWDO, each relief pack will contain three kilos of rice, two cans of sardines and corned beef, rice noodles, powdered chocolate drinks and sachets of coffee.

Evacuation of residents from all communities threatened by flood, landslide, lahar, storm surge, and wind to safe public and private centers was ongoing Monday.

The provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Romblon, and southern portion of Quezon have been placed under TCWS No. 3. (SunStar Philippines)


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