DISASTER mitigation teams have started making the rounds in areas expected to be affected by Typhoon Ineng (international codename: Goni) for possible preemptive evacuations of residents, according to an official of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Director Norma Talosig of the OCD-Cagayan Valley Region said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRMMC) has alerted all units to assist people who might be affected by storm surge and flooding.
Disaster teams have also issued warning to residents, advising them to be ready anytime for possible evacuation.
“So far there are no reports of preemptive evacuation but they [disaster mitigation teams]have already issued an advisory to residents to be prepared for possible preemptive evacuation especially those who are leaving in flood-prone areas,” Talosig said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Public Storm Warning Signal No. 3 over four areas in Northern Luzon about mid-morning of Thursday as Ineng maintained its strength and continued to threaten extreme Northern Luzon.
In its weather bulletin update issued at 11 a.m. Thursday, Pagasa said as of 10 a.m., the eye of the typhoon was located at 375 kilometers east of Calayan town, Cagayan Province, packed with maximum sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph.
The areas under Signal No. 3 (winds of 101-185 kph expected in at least 18 hours) are the Batanes Group of Islands and Northern Cagayan, including Babuyan and Calayan Group of Islands.
The open sea wave height is 14.0 meters and storm surge of up to 2.5 meters is possible along coastal areas.
In San Fernando City, La Union, OCD Regional Director Melchito Castro alerted residents in the Ilocos Region to prepare for possible disastrous effects of the new typhoon as it moves closer westward.
Castro also warned coastal and riverbank residents, particularly in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union, to prepare for possible evacuations as he described the coming rainfall, expected by Thursday or Friday, as “the strongest,” at the same time urging fishermen not to sail at this time.
The Regional and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Resiliency Councils were as well told by Castro to standby as flooding in some areas are also expected.
The La Union Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council and the City of San Fernando have started to prepare possible evacuations in low-lying areas such as the oft-flooded barangay (villages) of Tanqui, Santiago, Cabaraoan, Catbangen, Pagdalagan and Biday; and the towns of Bacnotan, Luna, Bangar, Santo Tomas, Caba and Aringay.
City Mayor Pablo Ortega has also issued an alert to residents and was glad that August 21 is a regular holiday that, he said, would spare, particularly, students from negative effects brought by strong rains and floods.