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Evacuate now than be sorry later–NDRRMC chief

/ 12:44 AM October 02, 2011

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Benito Ramos. LYN RILLON

Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said its local chapters had been directed to implement the preemptive evacuation of families in low-lying and mountainous areas if the situation warranted it.

“It’s better for these families to evacuate now than be sorry later,” Ramos said in a briefing in Manila. He said floodwaters from the Cordillera region might reach low-lying coastal communities in less than 10 hours, through Nueva Ecija.

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Ramos said residents of Hagonoy and Calumpit in Bulacan should particularly take precautions and move to safe ground as soon as possible.

“There’s no time to lose,” he said, noting that rescue operations ceased at nighttime so as not to put rescue teams in harm’s way.

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The NDRRMC had sent out Severe Weather Bulletin No. 9 on Typhoon “Quiel” to its regional centers by text and fax, and uploaded it to the website for further dissemination.

The Office of the Civil Defense regional centers had likewise been ordered to undertake precautionary measures.

Ramos also warned of landslide threats in Cagayan Valley.

The problem is that people refused to heed the warning, according to President Benigno Aquino III’s deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte.

This was why the floods stunned entire communities in Central Luzon last week, Valte said yesterday on radio.

She quoted the Department of Interior and Local Government as saying in an emergency meeting on Friday night that the local government units (LGUs) had received the notice that the dam gates would be opened.

“But according to the LGUs, there are people who refused to evacuate,” she said. Reports from DJ Yap and Norman Bordadora

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TAGS: Benito Ramos, Disasters, Flood, Government, NDRMC, typhoons
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