By Nino Luces
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Local authorities here have started evacuating thousands of residents on Thursday morning to save them from the threats of flooding, landslides, lahar, storm surge, and wind brought about by Typhoon “Ambo.”
Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) chief Dr. Cedric Daep confirmed that the province will be implementing “expanded evacuation” movement starting Thursday morning.
“We will be implementing culture based approach in an expanded evacuation movement applying coronavirus disease (COVID-19) protocol. This means, we will only allow na yung magkaka-kilala ang nasa loob ng isang kwarto o classroom. Expanded evacuation po tayo dahil magda-dagdag tayo ng evacuation facilities based dun sa previous experience,” Daep said.
Daep said that the wearing of face mask is must in the evacuation centers.
“I-apply natin yung COVID-19 protocol where mask is a must at saka physical distancing. Kaya nga, kung dati 100 percent ang capacity ng evacuation center, ngayon ang rekomendasyon namin for execution ng LGUs dapat at most 50 percent lang ang capacity,” he said.
According to Daep, the impact of typhoon “Ambo” is expected to be felt on Thursday night.
Based on APSEMO record, there are 58,614 families or 307, 493 individuals at risk of flooding; 21,620 families or 98,732 individuals at risk for landslide; 23,390 families or 101,467 individuals at risk for lahar; 27,018 families or 134,437 individuals at risk for storm surge, and 72,968 families or 361,197 individuals at risk of wind.
Daep clarified that these numbers of population at risk could be affected by 2 or 3 types of hazards.
“Meaning, ang isang pamilya dyan ay maaring threatened ng landslide, wind, at flooding,” he said.
In Sto. Domingo town, at least 10,700 families or more than 34,000 individuals have been evacuated for different kind of hazards.
Mayor Joseling “Jun” Aguas said that evacuated residents came from barangays Buhatan, Alimsog, Salvacion, Lidong, Fidel Surtida, Sta. Misericordia, San Fernando, and San Andres.
In Guinobatan town, residents of barangays Maninila, Tandarora, parts of San Francisco, Travesia, Maguiron, other parts of Mayon, and those from low-lying areas have been evacuated.
Albay governor Al Francis Bichara, chairman of Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) has issued an advisory suspending work on Thursday afternoon.
Sailing is also prohibited starting Thursday morning.