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Friday, December 5, 2014

Mindanao Braces for Super Typhoon Hagupit

As super typhoon ‘Ruby’ entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday, residents in Barangay Andap in New Bataan town, Compostela Valley implored for favor from the Almighty through a prayer: ‘Spare us Lord’. In Dinagat Islands, Gov. Glenda Ecleo ordered heightened alert and suspension of classes in all levels in the whole province while other disaster risk reduction and management councils at various areas in the 5 provinces and 6 cities in Caraga region already implemented preemptive evacuation to residents living along the coastal, landslide and flood prone areas.
Dinagat Islands province is on the path of typhoon Ruby when it enters the PAR.
In her executive order, Gov. Ecleo declared the province under a State of Heightened Alert and Eminent Danger. With this scenario, the PDRRMC orders suspension of classes in all levels effective Dec. 4 while administrative offices and other social functions and gatherings will be suspended, conduct pre-emptive evacuation on residents living in the areas identified as high risk for storm surge, flooding and landslide.
Dinagat Islands Province Information Officer Jane Mayola said all search and rescue teams in all MDRRMCs and BDRRMCs in the province are already in their respective action centers and mobilizing their respective tasks for the safety of their respective constituents.
“All preparedness mechanisms are already in effect,” Ms. Mayola said.
Fishing vessels, motor boats, and other sea crafts are already temporarily halted. All types of sea vessels bound for Visayas and Manila from Surigao City are also barred from sailing as typhoon Ruby is already in the PAR.
Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol F. Matugas, Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas and Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny T. Pimentel already raised “Red” alert status and directed their DRRMC’s to mobilize all vehicles for pre-emptive evacuation of residents along the high risk areas.
The governors who chaired their respective PDRRMC’s particularly pointed out four priority tasks—Activate MDRRMC/Incident Command System; Preposition response resources; Conduct pre-emptive/forced evacuation for areas vulnerable to storm surge, flood and landslide; and, Activate local Search Emergency Rescue Teams (SERTS)/Operation Center 24/7 as well as report incident to PDRRMO.
All concerned was also urged to be more vigilant by instituting pro-active measures.
Meanwhile, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) has already raised “Red” alert status in the whole Caraga region effective yesterday, Dec. 4, 2014.
Emergency rescue and response teams, including police, military and all volunteer groups are ordered to be on standby alert in preparation for typhoon ‘Ruby’.
The RDRRMC, through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-13), specifically alerted the DRRMC’s in flood prone and landslide areas.
“DRRMC’s are already directed to zero in on the safety of all residents living in the coastal areas, river banks and creeks,” said RDRRMC chair and Region Xlll OCD Regional Director Liza R. Mazo, during an emergency disaster meeting here.
The OCD official identified Dinagat Islands province and Siargao island as high risk areas.
The RDRRMC also advised all local government units to prepare their respective evacuation centers and pre- food assistance to their respective constituents when the situation worsens.
Regional Director Dr. Minda B. Brigoli of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-13) said the agency has already prepared 5,000 family food packs and other relief goods ready for initial distribution to the various LGUs in the region.
“Our various social workers in the region are still packing more food packs to beef up the already prepared family packs positioned to various LGUs in the region,” said Director Brigoli, adding “We have already activated our quick response teams region-wide”.
Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward G. Plaza also ordered all response and rescue teams in all MDRRMC’s in the province to give priority to the safety of all residents living along the river banks of the giant Agusan river, its tributaries, creeks, flood and landslide prone areas. The officers, staff and personnel of PDRRMC Action Center of Patin-ay, Prosperidad town are already in round-the-clock service effective Wednesday.
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