More than 4,000 individuals have been pre-emptively evacuated in Western Visayas (Region 6) and Central Luzon (Region 3) due to southwest monsoon (habagat) which was enhanced by typhoon “Betty”, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Sunday, May 28.
(Courtesy of PAGASA via Manila Bulletin)
A situational report released by the NDRRMC showed that a total of 1,237 families or 4,044 individuals were brought to temporary shelters in Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, and Pampanga.
The bulk of the evacuees came from Negros Occidental as 3,659 individuals were evacuated in the municipalities of Hinoba-an, Enrique B. Magalona, and Sipalay. Meanwhile, there were 255 evacuees in Antique (Patnongon, Anini-y, Tibiao); 96 in Capiz (Roxas City); and 34 in Pampanga (Angeles City).
“Kahit ang bagyo ay nasa bandang Northern Luzon lamang, hahatak ito ng hanging habagat na magpapaulan sa western side ng Pilipinas. Mangagaling sa southwest itong hanging habagat na magdadala ng ulan (Even if the typhoon is in the area of Northern Luzon, it will pull habagat which will bring rains in the western side of the Philippines. Habagat will come from the southwest area and will bring rains there),” Diego Agustin Mariano, head of Office of Civil Defense (OCD) joint information center, said in a radio interview with dzBB.
“Kaya nakaalerto po karamihan ng LGUs [local government units] dahil kahit malayo sa kanila ‘yung bagyo, maaaring maapektuhan sila buhat ng hanging habagat (That’s why many LGUs are on alert because even if the typhoon is far from them, they may still be affected due to habagat),” he added.
As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the center of the eye of typhoon Betty was located at 715 km east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
The NDRRMC activated its emergency preparedness and response (EPR) protocol which serves as a guide for government agencies and LGUs on the measures that they need to undertake for its response operations.
The highest alert, Charlie protocol, was activated in the National Capital Region (NCR), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and Cagayan Valley (Region 2).
Bravo protocol was raised in Ilocos Region (Region 1), Region 3, Mimaropa (Region 4B), Region 6, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Alpha protocol was implemented in Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9), and Northern Mindanao (Region 10).
Lastly, Calabarzon (Region 4A), Bicol Region (Region 5), Davao Region (Region 11), Soccsksargen (Region 12), and Caraga (Region 13) were placed on standby.
In Cagayan, the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRRMO) expressed readiness in case Betty remains stationary in Northern Luzon area until Tuesday as reported by PAGASA.
Rueli Rapsing, chief of Cagayan PDRRMO, said they have activated the “Purok Disaster Brigade” which implements the “Adopt a Neighbor” and “Church Open Door” policies.
The Adopt a Neighbor policy states that residents which have houses that can withstand the effects of typhoons shall adopt their neighbors whose houses are made of light materials. Meanwhile, the Church Open Door encourages churches in the province to serve as temporary shelters of their followers.
“Itong Betty hindi magla-landfall sa Cagayan pero palalakasin nito ang habagat kung saan magdadala na maraming pag-u-ulan (Betty will not make landfall over Cagayan but it will enhance habagat which will bring more rains),” Rapsing said.
The Cagayan PDRRMO earlier said that around 500,000 individuals in the municipalities of Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Santa Teresita, Buguey, Aparri, Ballesteros, Abulug, Pamplona, Sanchez-Mira, Claveria, and the island municipality of Calayan are at risk due to Betty.
In Batanes, strong winds and scattered rainshowers were already felt by the residents, according to its PDRRMO.
“Nararamdaman na namin ang pabugso-bugsong hangin at rainshowers at siguro umpisa na ang banta ng bagyo. Ang ating karagatan lalo na sa bandang east ay lumalaki na ang mga alon (We are already feeling gusts of wind and rainshowers and maybe these are some of the initial effects of the typhoon. Huge waves are aleady seen in our sea especially in the eastern side),” said Roldan Esdicul, Batanes PDRRMO officer in charge.
“Ang pinapangambahan namin ay mag-stationary siya so sana humina para lumiit ang danyos sa atin (We are worried that [Betty] will remain stationary so we hope that it will weaken to minimize its impact to us),” he added.
There are 6,000 family food packs that were prepositioned in Batanes two weeks ago. The Philippine Air Force brought an additional 850 food packs the other day.
Esdicul said he was also worried about the power supply in the province since the tanker that was bringing the fuel to energize the province got stranded in Pangasinan and could not cross the sea due to huge waves.
“Iniklian ang serbisyo ng Batanelco [Batanes Electric Cooperative] dahil hindi pa nakakatawid dito ‘yung tanker na magdadala ng fuel so 16 hours na lang po ang service ng kuryente natin sa ngayon mula noong Biyernes (The service of Batanelco was shortened since the tanker that was supposed to bring the fuel got stranded, so the electric service here can only afford 16 hours per day since Friday),” he said.