Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Evacuation on in Albay as ‘Glenda’ expected to hit Tuesday night
By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY, July 15 (PNA) -- Albay Governor Joey Salceda has ordered pre-emptive evacuation starting Monday afternoon as tropical storm “Glenda” continues to move closer towards Bicol.

Weather Bulletin No. 7 of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on Typhoon “Glenda” (International name: Rammasun) issued at 5:00 a.m. Tuesday said the tropical cyclone has maintained its strength and continues to move westward towards the Bicol Region at 20 kph.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

Its center was located at 270 east of Legazpi City at coordinates of 12.7°N, 126.4°E as of 4:00 a.m. Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, Glenda is expected to make landfall over Albay-Sorsogon area then cross Albay towards Quezon and other Southern Luzon provinces.

Public Storm Warning Signal No. 3 has been raised over Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Burias and Ticao Islands in Masbate and Northern Samar.

Salceda designated 114 school classrooms as evacuation camps for thousands of people which he ordered since Monday afternoon the suspension of classes at all levels in both public and private schools across the province.

“We have 5,000 bags of NFA (National Food Authority) rice to be given to the evacuees to ensure that their lives are at safe condition,” Salceda said.

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office chief, said there are 57,421 families or 199,396 individuals threatened by flooding, 14,546 families of 61,901 persons threatened by landslide, 37,704 families or 171,989 persons threatened by mudflow and lahar while 27,154 families or 139,322 individuals threatened by storm surge or a total of 136,825 families or 571,608 people.

Director Raffy Alejandro, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council chairman and Office of Civil Defense regional head, convened all government agencies, including disaster responders, at 3:00 p.m. Monday at the Office of Civil Defense social hall for emergency meeting to check on the readiness of the government responders.

Alejandro directed all disaster responders from the region down to barangay level to execute their disaster preparedness to ensure the safety of the people to prevent possible untoward incident should Glenda hit the region.

Following the weather disturbance, more than 500 passengers bound for Catanduanes were stranded in Tabaco port after the Philippine Coast Guard prohibited vessels to sail for safety measures.

They have been evacuated to the Tabaco National High School as the port terminal is not safe during typhoons.

Salceda and Catanduanes Gov. Araceli Wong have ordered the giving of provisions to the the stranded passengers.

Sea craft of various types have been moved to the Sula Channel for safety.

As this developed, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines has implemented necessary preparations and precautions to minimize the impact of the tropical storm on transmission operations and facilities.

Nelson Bautista, NGCP regional communication division chief, said preparations are underway to ensure the reliability of communications equipment, availability of hardware materials and supplies necessary for the repair of damages to facilities as well as the positioning of line crews in strategic areas, for immediate restoration work.

The NGCP’s Integrated Disaster Action Plan prescribes these and other procedures to ensure the readiness of all power transmission facilities expected to be affected by the passage of the weather disturbance.

Its Overall Disaster Command Center monitors all power restoration activities, reports and updates from the regional command centers in North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, whichever is directly affected by the weather disturbance, he said. (PNA) CTB/FGS/RBB/CBD/JSD