Malacanang on Wednesday assured that the government has taken adequate preparations for an approaching super typhoon.
The storm, which has the international name Haiyan, will be called Yolanda once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday. State weather forecasters said it will cut through Visayas on Friday before exiting through Mindoro on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Benigno Aquino 3rd has alerted all concerned government agencies to prepare for the super typhoon.
The President ordered Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), to ensure zero casualty and minimize damage to property that may the typhoon may bring.
The disaster units were advised to carry out the preemptive evacuation of residents, and local governments to prepare shelters and preposition relief goods, Coloma said.
Areas expected to be hit by Yolanda are Metro Manila and the regions of Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Northern Mindanao.
“Rescue boats and emergency relief and medical supplies have been prepositioned in strategic areas,” he said.
“All concerned government agencies are on heightened alert to ensure swift response to affected residents, especially those in low-lying and flood prone areas,” Coloma said.
He appealed to print and broadcast media to help spread information on the typhoon.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE