By Aaron Recuenco
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) issued an advisory on Sunday, urging residents of areas on the path of Tropical Storm Ramon to go on preemptive evacuation, especially those living in coastal areas, and landslide and flashflood-prone places.
“Ramon” is set to make landfall either on Monday or Tuesday in Sta. Ana, Cagayan based on the monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
OCD spokesman Mark Timbal said residents should follow the safety measures being implemented by the local government units in order to prevent past incidents that a number of people would drown or are buried in landslides.
“If the local government units made a warning that there should be a preemptive evacuation, they should just follow. They should not wait for the tragedy to happen to them,” said Timbal.
Asked if there is already an order for preemptive evacuation from the OCD in the affected areas, Timbal said such measure was being left to the local government units to enforce.
“It’s always an option for them. They are in the best position to decide,” said Timbal.
Part of the measures they expect from local officials, according to Timbal, is the prepositioning of relief goods for the would-be affected residents and prepositioning of rescue and relief teams.
Timbal said that those who would be evacuated are expected to stay on evacuation centers identified as safe by local authorities.
The official said that local residents should not underestimate the strength of the typhoon since doing so had been the root cause of major disasters in the past.
It was recalled that during the Yolanda devastation in Eastern Visayas, most of the residents especially those living in coastal areas in Tacloban city did not evacuate.
At least 10,000 local residents died or were declared missing as a result of the strong storm surge unleash by supertyphoon Yolanda.