Albay execs prepare for evacuations as ‘Ofel’ threatens Bicol
LEGAZPI CITY –– Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has directed various local disaster councils to prepare to evacuate before noontime on Wednesday residents living in flood and landslide-prone areas across the province as Bicol braces for moderate to heavy rains brought by Tropical Depression “Ofel.”
Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (APSEMO) chief, said Ofel, which is expected to hit a second landfall in Masbate province by noon, would bring heavy rains and strong winds to Albay’s second and third district.
Affected by moderate to heavy rains are the towns in the west coast areas, which include Libon, Oas, Pioduran, the coastal areas of Manito, and this city.
Daep, in an interview, said moderate to heavy rains, once it exceeds the rainfall threshold, could endanger communities prone to floods, lahar, and landslides.
Once preemptive evacuation is enforced, Daep directed local disaster councils to initiate strictly the coronavirus health standards, which involves wearing of face mask, face shield, and physical distancing.
While at the evacuation centers, disaster responders need to check the temperature of every evacuee and maintain physical distancing by permitting only four families in every room.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration hoisted weather signal 1 in the six provinces of Bicol Wednesday morning.
TD Ofel made the first landfall in the vicinity of Can-avid, Eastern Samar at 2:30 a.m and is expected to make another landfall in Masbate by noon.
The Philippine Coast Guard has canceled sea transport operations in all ports in Bicol.
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