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Pre-emptive evacuation ordered on vulnerable areas across Caraga Region

/ 04:34 PM November 19, 2018

BUTUAN CITY – The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) in Caraga Region has ordered a pre-emptive evacuation of disaster-risk communities throughout the region after heavy rains were expected to pour starting Monday afternoon as Tropical Depression “Samuel” was about to make landfall.

Liza R. Mazo, regional director of OCD and head of the RDRRMC in Caraga pointed out that she has ordered the different provincial and municipal DRRMC’s and local governments (LGUs) to push for pre-emptive evacuation.

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“We are ordering our LGUs across the five provinces in Caraga Region to take measures and order pre-emptive evacuation along low-lying flood-prone communities, populated mountainous areas that are landslide-prone as well as those coastal and river basin areas,” said Mazo.

“If they can push for the pre-emptive evacuation within this afternoon until this evening, it will be better as the rain will pick up strength in the hours to come. We need our LGUs to be pro-active in passing this kind of decision as we know the region is very vulnerable to floods, landslide and flash floods,” Mazo added.

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Lolita L. Vinalay, the chief meteorological officer of Pagasa Weather Station in Butuan feares that the tropical depression would intensify into a tropical storm in the next few hours.

“TD Samuel has maintained its maximum sustained wind of 55 kilometers per hour, but there is a big possibility that the storm will intensify further in the hours to come based on our latest weather bulletin,” said Vinalay.

“There is also a huge possibility that the track of the storm will either move further down or upward as it is moving right now at a very erratic phase. Yesterday, we monitored it to be moving at a speed of around 20 then 25, earlier it was at 15 then came back to 25. The biggest danger is the rain that TD Samuel will be carrying along with it as it moves slower it will have more time to pour down more rain on an area, causing more floods and landslides,” said Vinalay.

Armando Gomez, provincial DRRMO of Agusan del Sur, said they have activated their operation center to monitor the track of Samuel in the region.

“The council has also been continuously coordinating with the Municipal DRRM councils for appropriate actions and updates, they are also advised on their respective localities to be on the alert and vigilant as heavy rainfall is expected over the province,” said Gomez.

Erma Suyo, the PDRRMO chief of Agusan del Norte pointed out that all local DRRMCs have been activated together with their respective Emergency Operations Center (EOCs), Incident Management Teams (IMTs) and Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) in preparation for Samuel.

“All LDRRMCs to conduct regular monitoring of major waterways and rivers and landslide-prone barangays. The BDRRMCs are also advised to undertake pre-emptive evacuation if the situation warrants,” Suyo added.

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The LGUs in Agusan del Norte province, Cabadbaran City, Butuan City, and Surigao City,  suspended the classes from pre-school to college in both private and public schools starting Monday afternoon.

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TAGS: Caraga Region, Evacuation, Liza Mazo, Local news, Office of Civil Defense, pre-emptive evacuation, RDRRMC, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Tropical Depression Samuel
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