Gov’t opens quick response, monitoring center for ‘Auring’
MANILA — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s operation center at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City opened on Saturday and immediately went on alert over a day before Tropical Depression Auring hit land over Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte on Sunday. NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said the council, led by its executive director, Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, earlier convened its pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) core group to prepare for the possible effects of weather system, which made landfall in Surigao del Norte Sunday night.
The PDRA meeting was attended by representatives from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophyiscal and Astronomical Service Administration; the interior, social welfare, public works, communication, and health departments; the environment department’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the science department’s Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards); National Economic and Development Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Office of Civil Defense, which Jalad concurrently heads.
The chairs of the regional disaster risk reduction and management councils of the areas that would be affected by Auring also participated in the meeting via Skype.
Marasigan said all regions in Mindanao and Visayas, as well as Luzon’s Mimaropa Region, have gone on heightened alert and have been advised to take precautionary measures.
At noon time on Sunday, Marasigan said the NDRRMC operations center received reports of over 1,000 families pre-emptively evacuated in the Caraga Region with Auring’s approach.
She said local government units have been ordered to implement their Operation Listo or disaster-preparedness protocol while the local social welfare and health offices have been asked to preposition relief goods and medical supplies.
Tourists have also been advised to postpone activities such as mountain-climbing, swimming in rivers, lakes and beaches, and other outdoor activities until Auring leaves the country. SFM
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