Alert for evacuation up in Bicol as ‘Karen’ approaches
LEGAZPI CITY—Local and disaster response officials on Friday alerted residents living around Mt. Mayon in Albay province and Mt. Bulusan in Sorsogon province to prepare for evacuation as tropical storm “Karen” approached the Bicol region.
On Friday morning, at least 10 families (50 people) living along river channels in Barangay (village) Mapaso near Mount Bulusan in Irosin town, Sorsogon, were evacuated due to threats of lahar flow triggered by heavy rain since Thursday, a report from the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (RDRRMC) said.
Bernardo Rafael Alejandro, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director and RDRRMC chair, said the villagers will stay with their relatives at the Irosin town center until the weather improves.
In Albay, officials warned villagers living near Mayon to avoid entering the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone due to landslides and lahar flow that may be induced by continuous rain. They were also advised not to cross swollen rivers should the rain intensify.
Alejandro said all disaster risk reduction and management councils in the region were asked to be on the alert until the storm passes.
More than 1,000 passengers were stranded in ports in Bicol as Karen approached Luzon.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), in an advisory on Friday noon, said 554 of these passengers were stranded in Albay province, 309 in Sorsogon province and 141 in Masbate.
Some 28 ships, 126 trucks, cars and buses and 43 motorized banca were also stranded after the PCG suspended sailing of all types of sea vessels.
Airport operations in the cities of Naga, Legazpi and Masbate remained normal on Thursday afternoon but some flights had been cancelled in Catanduanes.
A police report said a flashflood hit Barangay Lubas in San Andres town in Catanduanes but the road there remained passable to light vehicles.
The Albay provincial disaster risk reduction and management office warned fishermen not to sail out to sea while residents in coastal villages in the eastern section of the province were alerted to avoid storm surges.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bicol has 30,000 food packs and 1,500 sacks of rice ready for distribution. RAM/rga
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