LEGAZPI CITY: Thousands of residents in Albay were evacuated to temporary shelters while business establishments shut down on Tuesday as Typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasun) pounded the Bicol region.
Eight hours before Glenda was expected to arrive, Albay Governor Joey Salceda ordered the pre-emptive evacuation as the storm moved towards Bicol and Quezon provinces.
Salceda has designated 114 classrooms as evacuation centers to house residents in the event of floods, storm surges and mudflows.
Data from the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office showed 57,421 families or 199,396 people are threatened by floods; 14,546 families or 61,901 persons are threatened by landslides; 37,704 families or 171,989 people could be affected by mudflows and lahar while 27, 154 families or 139,322 people could be affected by storm surges.
The provincial government has also prepared food rations for evacuees.
Five Bicol provinces—Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon—including Northern Samar were placed under signal No. 3.
Raffy Alejandro, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council chairman and director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), met at 3 p.m. with different government agencies and disaster responders at the OCD Social Hall to see to it that everything is ready.
Alejandro ordered disaster responders from the region down to the barangay level to evacuate people living in high-risk zones to avoid casualties when Glenda strikes.
Since yesterday, flights going to Bicol were cancelled while sea vessels were grounded by the Philippine Coast Guard.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has likewise taken all the necessary steps to minimize Glenda’s impact on transmission operations and facilities.
Nelson Bautista, NGCP regional communication division chief, said preparations are underway to ensure the reliability of communications equipment, the availability of hardware materials and supplies necessary for the repair of damages to facilities, as well as the positioning of line crews in strategic areas, to facilitate immediate restoration work.
NGCP’s Overall Disaster Command Center monitors all power restoration activities, reports, and updates from the Regional Command Centers in Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. (See related story on Page 2)