• Bulacan prepares for ‘Karen’


    The Bulacan provincial government is preparing for the expected onslaught of Typhoon Karen that is expected to hit Bulacan either Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

    Sitting as chairman of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado instructed PDRRM Executive Officer Liz Mungcal to alert all municipal and city mayors in Bulacan to be ready and be constantly in touch with the PDRRM command post at the capitol compound here.

    “We are praying that the typhoon will slow down and spare our province but nevertheless we must always be ready when it comes,” Alvarado said.

    He also instructed Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office head Rowena Tiongson to prepare relief goods and other basic items like blankets, bottled water and mats for distribution.

    The governor alerted the different municipal and city disaster risk reduction and management units to evacuate people living along riverbanks and prepare the different evacuation centers as temporary shelters.

    He also instructed Mungcal to coordinate with officials of the three major dams in Bulacan – Angat, Ipo and Bustos – and request them to do preemptive release of water before the storm hits the province.

    As of 8 a.m., Friday, the water level at Angat dam was 195.97 meters (still way below its spilling level of 210 meters).

    The water elevation at Ipo dam was 99.93 (spilling level 101 meters) while the water level at Bustos dam was 17.34 meters ( spilling level 17. 34 meters).

    During a pre-disaster risk assessment meeting, Alvarado brought out the establishment of an Incident Command Post and deployment of incident command teams that will oversee rescue and evacuation of affected people.

    He said all hospitals run by the provincial government should be ready with adequate supply of medicines and vaccines.

    Dr. Protacio Badjao, head of the Bulacan Medical Center, told the governor that they will have to procure anti-snake venom vaccines since they are already out of supplies.

    Badjao said during typhoons, many people, especially those from flood-stricken areas, are bitten by snakes.

    Mungcal also briefed officials of concerned agencies like the Bulacan police, headed by acting police director Senior Supt. Romeo Caramat Jr., the Philippine Army and different emergency rescue units and volunteers.

    She identified flood-prone areas where rescue teams will be deployed.



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