CEBU City’s disaster council activated all its barangay-based disaster response groups as tropical storm Glenda entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
Although Cebu City will not be directly hit by the storm, Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak said that officials will keep monitoring the weather since rain and strong winds may be felt. Tumulak chairs the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CCDRRMC).
“Glenda will be felt in Northern Cebu but it will be very minimal,” said bureau chief Oscar Tabada of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa) in Mactan.
Light to moderate and at times heavy rains with strong winds will continue to occur in Metro Cebu today, Tabada said.
Even as Glenda approached, the Archdiocese of Cebu took some steps toward the creation of “parish response teams” that will prepare for and react to calamities.
During a seminar on disaster preparedness in the St. Pedro Calungsod Chapel in the South Road Properties, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma approved the creation of groups within parishes as a way to respond to calamities.
“Disaster preparedness should be part of our lives,” the archbishop said.
As of yesterday, 20 Kaoshioung buses were on standby in Cebu City to ferry stranded passengers in case of heavy rains and floods.
Classes proceeded as usual.
“We will wait for the assessment of CCDRMC. If there is a need for the cancellation of classes, then we will do it,” Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Glenda was located 500 kilometers from Legazpi City, Albay. It has maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 140 kph.
Glenda is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday morning.
Signal No. 1 was raised in Romblon, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Lubang Island, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Southern Aurora, Northern Quezon including Polilo Islands and Metro Manila in Luzon, and Eastern Samar, Samar and Biliran Island in Visayas.
Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate including Burias, Sorsogon, Albay, Marinduque and southern part of Quezon in Luzon and Northern Samar in the Visayas are under signal No. 2.
Signal No. 3 was also raised in Catanduanes.
Meanwhile, Fr. Socrates Saldua, chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission on Service, told reporters that the commission and Smart Communications organized the disaster preparedness seminar yesterday.
About 400 priests and lay people participated.
Saldua said they are proposing the creation of a 100-member response team in parishes that would help their communities cope with calamities.
“We are more ready when it comes to disasters compared to before. We now listen to advisories and prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario,” Saldua added.
For Fr. Lyndon Ruiz, parish priest of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Sitio Tankong, Barangay Mojon in Bantayan, told Sun.Star Cebu that typhoon Yolanda in November last year taught a lesson that his parishioners learned.
He added that parishes, especially smaller ones, should strengthen the participation of their parishioners to help communities in times of trouble, such as calamities.