Quezon province starts pre-emptive evacuation of residents due to ‘Ulysses’
LUCENA CITY –– With the possible strong impact of intensified Tropical Storm “Ulysses” (international name: Vamco), authorities in Quezon province have started the pre-emptive evacuation of residents living in disaster-prone areas.
Melchor Avenilla Jr., head of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office, said they issued orders on Tuesday night for the pre-emptive evacuation in localities along the forecasted track of “Ulysses.”
“They are now busy conducting the evacuations,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday morning.
Ma. Janet Geneblazo, Quezon public information officer, said rescue and medical teams from the provincial government have been on standby since Tuesday.
“They are ready to be deployed in areas where they are needed,” she said on social media.
Sonia Leyson, head of the provincial social welfare and development office, said they have yet to receive reports on the number of refugees in their respective temporary shelters.
Authorities earlier alerted residents of disaster-prone communities to prepare to evacuate. Temporary shelters, mostly school buildings and barangay offices, have been prepared throughout the province to accommodate the refugees.
The evacuees were being attended to by local social workers and health authorities who imposed strict health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the evacuation centers.
Police desks have also been assigned at the evacuation centers to help impose strict compliance of the protocols – wearing face masks, face shields, and safe distancing – among evacuees.
On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Danilo Suarez ordered all mayors and local disaster preparedness councils to “raise emergency operations to red alert.”
A red alert would put officials on standby for emergencies that would need a quick response.
Under the red alert, rescue and relief teams are required to be on duty 24 hours a day.
In its 8 a.m. bulletin Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, said the center of “Ulysses’ is projected to make landfall over Polillo Islands and mainland Quezon between tonight, Wednesday, and early morning tomorrow, Thursday.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph, “Ulysses” is also projected to intensify into a typhoon within the next 6 to 12 hours.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 had been raised over Quezon and the Bicol region.
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