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Albay braces for TS ‘Yolanda’
By: Marlon A. Loterte
Wednesday 6th of November 2013

LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 6 (PIA) – Officials and sectoral members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in Albay convened in a series of meeting within the week to prepare and preposition manpower and resources in the wake of the threats of storm “Haiyan” (Yolanda once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility).

 

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, chair of PDRRMC, said the meeting was called to operationalize all the sectoral members of the council and lay out plans and measures in anticipation of possible implications of thesevere weather system that may affect the Bicol region.

 

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has forecasted that “Haiyan” is expected to enter PAR early morning Thursday, Nov. 7.

 

Salceda, presiding the council meeting while in Davao City yesterday via Skype video conferencing, said all sectoral members, including preparations, response, and recovery, assured him and the council their readiness in the wake of the impending severe weather condition.

 

Salceda also asked the Albayanos and DRR authorities, especially among local governments, to step up preparations in the wake of the looming disaster to mitigate its implications on the lives and properties of the locales as well as attain anew a”zero casualty” goal of the provincial government.

 

"I also asked you to continue to pray to spare Albay, much as other areas in the country, from the brunt of this storm," he said.

 

“This coming Friday and Saturday are the most critical time for Bicol region, as the storm is expected to land fall on Friday morning while it is closest to Albay in the evening of the same day,” he observed.

 

Dr. Landrico Dalida Jr., chief of Pagasa for Southern Luzon, presented three scenarios on the possible tracks of the tropical storm wherein Bicol Region will always within the brunt of the storm that will bring heavy rains and strong winds.

 

Dalida said that there is a large possibility that one of these scenarios will happen, however, for certainty as to what places in Bicol will be directly hit, it will still be known on Thursday.

He stressed that Yolanda is a strong typhoon packing up with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and gustiness of up to 150 kph while it is still above the ocean and may . It is forecast to move west at 30 kph.

 

Dalida advised the Bicolanos to prepare before the tropical depression makes a landfall.

Meanwhile, Albay PDRRMC has identified 67 barangays prone to lahar flow, 165 prone to landslides and 484 prone to flooding should the severe weather condition affect the area, thus, urging official and residents in the villages to keep watch and take the necessary precautions and measures to prevent disaster.

 

“Those areas prone to lahar flow may be the first affected, next the landslides areas, and flooding that can displace thousands of locales. Thus, pre-emptive evacuation of the residents may be carried out as early as Thursday afternoon,” Salceda furthered.

 

Salceda also urged authorities of all Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee and city and municipal DRR officials to put in place their response strategies to the impact of hazards floods, flash floods, landslides, storm surges and strong winds on exposed households and critical resources.

 

The governor furthered that households near riverbanks, lahar flow paths and mountain slopes should start preparing their evacuation kits and familiarize with their evacuation routes and evacuation camps.

 

Meanwhile, Bicol director Bernardo R. Alejandro IV of Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and chair of the Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) has called a parallel meeting today among the council members also in preparation for the impending severe weather system that will also affect almost all provinces of the region.

 

“I already have directed concerned council members to prepare and preposition assets or resources in response to possible implications of the storm,” he said.

 

Alejadro stressed Bicol RDRRMC operation center is now on blue alert and urged all DRRMC of all local governments, from cities, towns, and barangays, to be vigilant and prepare their respective communities for the effects of Yolanda.  (MAL-PIA5/Albay)

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