Preemptive evacuation of Manila coastal areas ordered
MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office has ordered a preemptive evacuation of residents of the capital’s coastal barangays by Monday morning, regardless of whether the National Capital Region is to be directly hit by Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit), because of the possibility of a storm surge on Manila Bay.
Johnny Yu, the disaster mitigation office’s director, told the Inquirer by telephone Saturday that his office has tasked barangay (village) officials in the Baseco Compound, Parola Compound and Isla Puting Bato in Tondo to move residents to temporary evacuation centers in Del Pan, Baseco and Intramuros between 5 and 7 a.m. on Monday.
The Metro disaster office was also coordinating with the National Capital Region Police Office and Manila Police District to ensure that Roxas Boulevard, particularly the Baywalk stretch, is cleared of street-dwellers and loiterers on Monday.
“Whether [Metro Manila] is a direct hit or not, there is still a storm surge forecast that is 1 to 2 meters high,” said Yu.
Aside from clearing Baywalk of people, Yu said t he would also conduct an inspection of the temporary dining establishments in the area, which are made of metal. If the structures have been bolted to the ground, then they will be allowed to stay, but if they are movable then they will have to be removed before the storm hits, Yu said.
He stressed, however, that depending on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration’s (Pagasa) forecast of the typhoon and its effects on the city, preemptive evacuation may begin as early as Sunday evening.
“But definitely on Monday we will evacuate,” said Yu.
The Del Pan evacuation center can hold up to 1,000 people, while the one in Baseco has space for 2,000.
Yu said his office was also coordinating with the Intramuros Administration for the use of the multipurpose hall of Pamantasang Lungsod ng Maynila as a tentative evacuation center, as well as Universidad de Manila and some private schools in the city.
“If some residents have families in provinces up north that won’t be too affected by the storm, then they also have the option of staying there temporarily,” Yu added.
Meanwhile, all ferry services from the Manila North Harbor have been canceled, said Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Armand Balilo in a phone interview on Saturday. As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the number of passengers at the port had gone down to 200 from 1,800 on Friday, said Balilo.
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