Storm alert up in Eastern VisayasBy Joey Gabieta
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—The Office of Civil Defense in Eastern Visayas has put all disaster councils across the region on alert as Tropical Storm Butchoy passed close enough to the region to affect it with gale-force winds and heavy seas.
Ben Linde, information officer of the OCD regional office, said the advisory was intended to help ensure zero casualty and less destruction to property.
“We have already disseminated the advisory to all our disaster councils from the provincial down to the municipal levels. We want to ensure that we can have zero casualty,” Linde said on Friday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophyscial and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 5 a.m. weather bulletin that “Butchoy” was located 620 east northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, at 4 a.m. Friday.
In a gale warning also issued at 5 a.m., Pagasa noted that gale-force winds were expected to affect the coasts of Luzon, Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao.
The weather bureau advised fishing boats and other small seacraft in Eastern Visayas not to go out to sea as conditions were expected to be rough to very rough with waves rising 3.4 to 4.5 meters.
Pagasa also warned larger vessels of big waves.
Linde said they were coordinating with the Philippine Coast Guard. He added they were focusing on Eastern Samar since several of its towns face the Pacific Ocean.
But based on their monitoring of conditions across the region, Linde said that the weather prevailing all over the Eastern Visayas remained sunny Friday morning.
“But we should not be complacent. There could be some changes in its direction though the Pagasa report has indicated that Butchoy will not make landfall in any part of the region,” Linde said.
However, he said, all disaster councils must be prepared with their rescue teams and equipment, medicine, relief goods and temporary shelter for those who might need them.