By Freddie Lazaro
LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte — Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos has ordered the preemptive evacuation of residents particularly the most vulnerable ones and those situated in high-risk areas when a storm passes.
In an interview over DZRH, Marcos said those evacuated were mostly senior citizens, disabled, hospital patients, pregnant and nursing mothers, as well as children, who were gathered in town and barangay halls and in churches safe from the dangers posed by bodies of water.
The preemptive evacuation also covers residents in low-lying areas near bodies of water in the towns of Pasuquin, Pagudpud, Batac, and Dingras.
The governor has suspended classes and work in the province today and told her constituents to help in the harvest of palay and vegetables that could be saved from the coming typhoon and also reinforce their houses, farms, and other community structures that the typhoon threatens.
When asked how the weather is in the province this morning, Marcos said in jest: “It is as if the weather is playing tricks on us as it is hot everywhere and no sign of a brewing storm.”
Initially, at least 490 individuals from 79 families from Pasuquin and Pagudpud, both in Ilocos Norte, were pre-emptively evacuated on Wednesday.
Governor Imee also ordered the pre-positioning of food stocks and relief goods that could last for four days and can be distributed immediately to affected areas in case the typhoon slams the province.
Initially, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 1 has prepositioned 560 food packs in Ilocos Norte upon request of Governor Marcos. The DSWD also gave to Ilocos Norte the 500 sleeping kits and 200 family kits that contain clothings and slippers.
“Pero hindi lang mga tao ang may evacuation centers, kinukuha rin namin ang kanilang mga hayop at may sarili silang shelter, pagkain at inumin”, she added.
She directed the SK or Sangguniang Kabataan in barangays to act as information posts that will relay important and urgent messages between officials and residents.
Marcos called on Ilocanos to pray hard that heavy rains and strong winds spare the province.