PDRRMC shifts focus on eastern MisOr towns

AS THE Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) raised its alertness level to “code red” in anticipation of the passing of Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) in Mindanao, the Provincial Government has shifted its strategy and will focus its preparation efforts instead to the eastern parts of Misamis Oriental.

Provincial Administrator Edmundo Pacamalan Jr. said Friday that Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano has ordered that most of the province’s resources be mobilized to areas within the proximity of the Caraga region.

During the PDRRMC meeting last Thursday, Emano instructed to distribute its manpower and logistics all across the province but due to the movement of the weather disturbance, it had to change its priority.

“The governor has ordered that 70 percent of the PDRRMC’s resources will be focused on the towns of Magsaysay, Gingoog, Talisayan and Balingasag,” Pacamala told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Friday.

He said the PDRRMC has deployed its forward incident command posts (FICPs) to act as responders in case of emergencies starting Friday until Ruby exits the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Wednesday next week.

Pacamalan said various department heads are acting as FICP commanders and they are equipped with “lifeliners” such as generator sets, food packs, rubber boats and search and rescue gears.

He said the FICPs will be based in province-run hospitals and will be on a 24-hour standby and monitoring mode.

Earlier, Emano issued Executive Order GYVBE 2014-006, requiring all provincial hospitals to be fully staffed until Sunday, December 7.

“Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel must report to the hospitals on those days. No day-offs are allowed,” Emano’s order said.

The FICP commanders are also provided with vehicles, and at least one heavy equipment that they can mobilize in case of emergency.

The command centers located at Gingoog City and at the Provincial Capitol have already been fully activated to keep in constant contact with the FICPs, MDRRMCs and BDRRMCs.

Also, Pacamalan said the entire province is still under “code red” as of Friday afternoon despite the lifting of the public storm signal number 1 in the province by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

He said the PDRRMCs, through the municipal DRRMCs and barangay DRRMCs, could only declare a preemptive evacuation in areas most likely affected once it starts to rain in Misamis Oriental.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, the eye of Ruby was located based on all available data at 370 kilometers east of Borongan, Eastern Samar, with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph.

Pagasa said Ruby is forecast to move west northwest at 13 kph.

It added that Caraga and the provinces of Romblon and Camiguin will have rains with gusty winds, and the coastal waters along these areas will be rough to very rough.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms, it said.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over the rest of Luzon and of Visayas and coming from the north to northwest over the rest of Mindanao with moderate to rough seas, Pagasa added.

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