MANILA, Nov. 8 -- President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday evening appealed to people in areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) to keep alert and cooperate with authorities to prevent loss of life and property.
In a televised message, the President said Typhoon Yolanda now poses a severe threat, with Signal No. 4 over parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
"Maaari pong maibsan ang epekto ng bagyong ito kung magtutulungan tayo. Magpamalas po sana tayo ng hinahon, lalo na sa pagbili ng ating mga pangunahing bibilhin, at sa paglikas tungo sa mas ligtas na mga lugar.
Makipag-ugnayan at sundin po natin ang awtoridad (We can soften the impact of this typhoon if we cooperate. We should also remain calm especially in buying basic commodities and in evacuating our homes. Let us follow the instructions of authorities)," he said.
"Lumikas na po tayo kung alam nating nasa peligro ang ating pook. Sa mga nasa baybayin: Huwag na po tayong pumalaot; huwag na po tayong sumugal upang hindi na rin malagay sa peligro ang buhay ng ating mga rescue teams (Let us evacuate our homes if we are in danger zones. For those in coastal areas, don't venture out to sea. Let's not risk our lives and those of rescue teams)," he added.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, in its 5 p.m. bulletin, had said five areas were under Storm Signal No. 4.
The Chief Executive, citing latest data, said the typhoon is expected to cross Masbate, Cebu, Panay, Romblon, Mindoro, and Palawan, before exiting the Philippine area of responsibility late Saturday.
He said Yolanda is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain, and may cause rivers to overflow.
There is also a possibility of heavy rain triggering lahar flow in areas near Mayon and Bulusan Volcanoes.
Government is also monitoring some 100 areas under threat of storm surges that include Ormoc, Ginayangan Ragay Gulf in Albay, and Lamon Bay in Atimonan.
Such storm surges may generate waves of up to five to six meters, he warned.
Because of this, President Aquino pointed out Yolanda poses a greater threat than Tropical Cyclone Pablo, and the people can only pray Yolanda will move swiftly. He also said Secretaries Voltaire Gazmin (defense) and Manuel Roxas II (interior) are in Leyte to lead preparations for Yolanda's expected landfall.
He added disaster risk reduction and management councils from the national to the local levels are also preparing for Yolanda.
He also urged local government units to prepare well.
"Seryosong peligro po ang kinakaharap ng inyong mga nasasakupan. Gawin na po natin ang ating magagawa habang hindi pa lumalapag si Yolanda. Uulitin ko po: Seryosong peligro ito, at maaaring mabawasan ang epekto kung gagamitin natin ang impormasyon upang maghanda. (Yolanda poses a serious threat. Let us do all that we can while Yolanda has not made landfall, so we can soften its impact by using the information we now have)," he said.
Meanwhile, the President noted that government has at its disposal fully mission-capable assets that can deliver relief goods.
These include three C-130 planes, 32 planes and helicopters of the Philippine Air Force, and 20 ships of the Philippine Navy in Cebu, Bicol, Cavite, and Zamboanga.
"Ang mga relief goods ay naka-preposition na rin sa karamihan ng mga apektado o maaaring maapektuhang lalawigan; sa mga hindi pa po naaabot dahil pinagbawalan nang pumalaot ang mga barko dahil sa peligro, umasa po kayong darating agad ang tulong paghupa ng bagyo (Relief goods have been prepositioned in most of the areas that may be affected. To those who have not received relief goods, please be patient. Rest assured the relief goods will come soonest)," he said. (PCOO/PND/jl)