Preemptive evacuations start in Albay as Bicol braces for Tropical Storm Ulysses
LEGAZPI CITY –– Local disaster councils in Albay were directed on Tuesday to start preemptive evacuation of villagers in low-lying and mountain slope areas prone to floods, lahar, and landslides, the Albay Public Safety Emergency and Management Office (APSEMO) announced.
Cedric Daep, APSEMO chief, said the preemptive evacuation procedure would ensure the safety of thousands of residents in floods and lahar affected villages as a preparedness measure for the approaching Tropical Storm “Ulysses” (international name Vamco) that is expected to affect the Bicol region.
Daep, in an interview, said localized evacuations would start at noon on Tuesday until noon on Wednesday.
“Given priority are the people at risk for lahar, mudflow, and flooding,” Daep said. During the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Rolly” (Goni) on Nov. 1, villages located on the slopes of Mount Mayon in Guinobatan, Daraga, and Legazpi suffered lahar and mudflows which claimed five lives.
APSEMO data records that 40,000 families or 200,000 individuals are at risk for flooding and lahar flows in the 15 towns and three cities of the province.
Daep also said work in public and private offices would be dismissed at noon Wednesday to allow employees to go home and prepare for the coming storm, while malls and other commercial establishments would be closed at 3 p.m.
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