Albay suspends classes as it readies for heavy rains

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LEGAZPI CITY, 13Jan2014 (PNA) – Albay Governor Joey Salceda on Sunday night ordered the suspension of Monday’s classes in the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten levels in the province after disaster authorities warned of a moderate-to-heavy rainfall that is expected to hit the province during today due to a low pressure area prevailing in the vicinity of Surigao del Sur.

Salceda issued the suspension of classes as a precautionary measure in view of heightened risks to public health, safety and welfare.

The Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) advisory also called on local disaster councils to be on heightened alert for possible flooding, landslide, lahar flows and mud flows due to the rainfall.

The PDRRMC asked the local DRRMCs to review their local risk reduction plans on flood, wind, landslide, lahar and coastal flooding and check on the vulnerable areas for disaster avoidance.

It further advised them to start reviewing the list of vulnerable population groups by sub-villages and come up with the list as basis for evacuation planning.

In addition, the provincial disaster management body asked the local DRRMCs to come up with a listing of safe evacuation centers using government and private facilities, including safe private houses for effective evacuation planning.

Salceda said the 15 MDRRMCs and three CDRRMCs should closely coordinate with the PDRRMC to discuss and plan out appropriate counter-measures once the weather condition worsens.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) allowed at about 7:00 a.m. on Monday the 3,820 passengers stranded since Sunday at the Matnog port in Sorsogon to board their respective sea vessels after these were given a green light to sail.

Meanwhile, a gale warning is still hoisted over Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, eastern coast of Albay and Sorsogon.

The PCG has advised fishing boats and other small seacraft not to venture out into the sea while it alerted larger sea vessels against big waves. (PNA)

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