NDRRMC urges preemptive evacuation in 2,700 barangays
MANILA, Philippines — In anticipation of the impact of Tropical Depression “Usman,” the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is urging residents in 2,700 barangays that are prone to landslides to undertake preemptive evacuation.
NDRRMC spokesperson Edgar Posadas on Thursday said the agency identified 2,700 barangays in several areas including Eastern Visayas, the Bicol Region, and in the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) which are “highly susceptible” to landslides.
“Kahapon nagpalabas tayo ng list of 2,700 barangays na posibleng maapektuhan nito (landslides) courtesy of Mines and Geosciences Bureau ng DENR nung tayo ay nagkaroon ng Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment meeting para tignan ang ating kahandaan. Naabisuhan na ang mga ito sa tulong ng DILG,” Posadas said in an interview over Radyo INQUIRER.
“Inire-recommend namin (NDRRMC) sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na bago pa mag-landfall, baka pwede na tayong mag-preemptive evacuation doon sa mga areas na highly susceptible (sa landslides),” the NDRRMC spokesperson said.
Posadas said Usman was expected to bring heavy rainfall as it sweeps through the country, which in effect would result to flooding and landslides.
“Mukhang hindi talaga natin maiiwasan yung magkaroon ng pagbaha lalo na sa Eastern Visayas at Eastern Samar, mayroong portions talaga na mabababa kahit walang bagyo binabaha sila,” Posadas said.
The NDRRMC has raised its alert status from “white” to “blue” by 8 a.m. Thursday in preparation for the tropical depression.
The blue alert level means NDRRMC personnel will monitor the possible effects of the weather and ensure swift coordination among concerned agencies.
“May karagdagang mga ayuda coming from the uniformed services at saka yung mga forecasting agencies natin para tulungan tayo just in case kinakailangan ng ating national government na tumulong doon sa mga masasalanta ni Usman,” Posadas said.
In the latest weather update of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), 11 areas have been placed under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1.
These areas include Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Northern Cebu, including Camotes Islands, Sorsogon and Masbate, including Ticao Island, and Dinagat Island.
Pagasa said Usman was expected to make landfall over Eastern Samar on Friday, however, the weather bureau said it could intensify into a tropical storm prior to its landfall.
At 4 a.m., Usman was spotted 435 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
It was packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 65 kph. It was moving west-northwest at 20 kph. /cbb
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