Talisay, Naga are ready for Ruby

THE City Governments of Talisay and Naga said they are ready for the arrival of super typhoon Ruby either tonight or early morning tomorrow, despite the refusal of some residents in vulnerable areas to leave their homes.

Preemptive evacuation of residents in danger zones has been made and disaster preparedness teams have been activated to attend to the needs of constituents.

Talisay City Mayor Johnny de los Reyes said that while they have suspended work at City Hall starting yesterday, he has ordered some offices like the motor pool, City Social Welfare Office, and Text to the Mayor to remain open in preparation for the typhoon’s possible onslaught.

He also ordered Talisay City public information and disaster risk reduction and management officer Vince Monterde to check on vulnerable barangays and ask residents to conduct preemptive evacuation.

Leaving homes

Aside from public schools and government buildings, de los Reyes has designated City Hall as a possible evacuation site. He has also ordered security guards to keep an eye on the evacuees to secure City Hall’s offices from possible theft.

The mayor also ordered the deployment of buses to fetch evacuees in far-flung areas.

Food provisions such as rice and canned goods are already set and packed, he added.

As of 8 p.m. yesterday, some designated evacuation centers in Talisay City are already full of evacuees. City Hall has evacuated an estimated 750 families.

Monterde said that with some of their designated evacuation sites now full, they have decided to transfer some families to City Hall, where they would spend the night.

One evacuation site, the Talisay City Central School, is now housing around 650 families. A church in San Roque is accommodating some 80 families.

Monterde said they are still looking for other options to house the evacuees.

He said they could no longer use available evacuation sites close to coastal areas as these are prone to storm surges.

Zero casualty

De los Reyes hopes that there will be no casualties during the typhoon.

To achieve this, the mayor urged residents in critical areas to evacuate to safer ground before the typhoon hits.

Yesterday, six families living in landslide-prone Manipis in Talisay City evacuated to a nearby reforestation facility in Sitio Camp 6.

About 17 families can be accommodated in the reforestation facility, said Manipis Barangay Captain Emma Cabiluna.

Cabiluna, however, lamented that not all residents in her village voluntarily left their homes.

She said there are some families who refuse to leave while others would heed her call but would return to their homes even if they see that the weather is fine.

Cabiluna also said that to protect motorists from possible landslides, the Department of Public Works and Highways has closed off the Talisay-Toledo Wharf Access Road.

Staying in schools

Meanwhile, in the City of Naga, 44 families have voluntarily evacuated to three evacuation sites since 4 p.m. yesterday.

Garry Cabotaje, City of Naga public information officer, said 150 individuals are now at Cantao-an Elementary School, Naga National High School and Naga Central Elementary School.

Most of the families that evacuated are from Barangay Tanke, North and West Poblacion.

Cabotaje said they are expecting more evacuees to come today as the typhoon nears landfall.

City of Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong also suspended work at City Hall yesterday afternoon to allow employees to prepare for the typhoon.

However, a skeletal force composed of emergency and social service units remains at City Hall to assess the needs of evacuees.

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