Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año insisted Friday that the agency had made prior preparations before the onslaught of typhoon “Ulysses’’ despite the reported 14 casualties and three missing persons from the weather disturbance.
Based on the latest DILG data, Año said that 38,554 individuals were rescued from the typhoon which severely affected several low-lying areas like Marikina City.
Stressing that precautionary measures have been taken, Año said in a news briefing the DILG placed 14 provinces and the whole of Metro Manila under alert level “Charlie,’’ 12 provinces under alert level “Bravo,’’ and 13 provinces under alert level “Alpha’’ totaling 39 provinces across regions before the typhoon wreaked havoc.
In military parlance, alert warning Alpha means the threat level is low while alert warnings Bravo and Charlie are raised when there are medium and high threat level threats, respectively.
Año maintained that the government was better prepared to deal with Ulysses than typhoon “Rolly.”
With 99 percent of local chief executives on hand and 12,439 evacuation centers activated, Año noted that 102,439 affected families or 345,119 individuals were relocated to the much safer evacuation centers to ensure their safety as the onslaught of Ulysses caused heavy flooding, numerous landslides, power outage, and cut off communication lines in some areas.
“Standing at the helm, a total of 1,038 local chief executives out of 1,047 in affected areas, ‘yung siyam na wala naman ay ito ay various reasons, ‘yung iba ang tinamaan ng COVID, ang iba naman ay under quarantine (nine were absent in their areas of responsibility due to various reasons. The others were infected with COVID while some were placed under quarantine),’’ Año said.
“So they are all accounted for and established their local risk reduction, disaster risk reduction, and management councils, established their local emergency operation centers, and activated their disaster emergency response teams,’’ he added.
Año explained that the figures in the number of evacuees of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council may differ since the local government units base their data on the actual count in their evacuation centers.
He noted that not all of the affected families were placed in the evacuation centers as some chose to seek shelter from their relatives.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Año said all of those stranded on the roofs of their houses were rescued as 1,006 out of the 1,262 affected barangays experienced flooding.
Año added that there were also 17 cases of landslides, 206 impassable roads, 157 areas have no cellular signals or radio coverage, and five dams were forced to release water.
“But as always, our LGUs always carried out their mandate of saving the lives and ensuring the safety of their constituents.’’