By Mike de la Rama
LEGAZPI CITY, 6Nov2013 (PNA) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Bicol regional office has advised all Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (PDRRMCs) in the region to initiate preemptive evacuation of at-risk population this Thursday, a day before the expected landfall of Tropical Storm “Yolanda.”
DILG Bicol Regional director Blandino Maceda said during the joint Regional DRRMC and Albay PDRRMC emergency meeting Tuesday that his office had issued an advisory calling all chief executives in the region to convene and take the necessary precautions and initiate immediate preemptive evacuations of families within the flood- and landslide-prone areas.
“Governors and mayors are reminded to strictly monitor their respective localities and secure their constituents in safe evacuation centers prior to the expected landfall of Yolanda,” Maceda said.
According to him, all fishing boats and other sea craft must be monitored by local officials and concerned agencies to prevent any untoward incidents.
He added that all government agencies are now in prepared status starting Tuesday due to the threat of Yolanda in Bicol region.
Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Raffy Alejandro, on the other hand, said the Philippine Army based here has positioned 12 trucks to be used for evacuating families from the identified flood-, landslide- and lahar-prone areas.
He told Governor Joey Salceda, who was in Davao, during a skype conference that the OCD had already requested the Philippine Air Force to have at least two standby helicopters in this city.
“We need to anticipate all possible scenarios to be brought by Yolanda,” Alejandro said.
The provincial government of Albay will start implementing early evacuation as early as Thursday.
The Philippine National Police, according to Alejandro, is now on red alert status and augmentation forces are now ready for deployment in case Bicol region will be hit directly by the tropical storm.
Alejandro also said the priority for evacuation are those families located in the high risk areas wherein in Albay alone, there are 484 barangays considered as flood prone, 165 for landslides while 67 barangays have been identified high risk during lahar flows.
Albay PDRRMC will convene Wednesday for a final meeting in order to re-assess the status of preemptive measures preparation. (PNA)