WVisayas, Bicol brace for ‘Nina’


THE Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Western Visayas and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) of Albay have put in place their respective scenario-based disaster strategies as tropical depression Nina. is expected to enter the country this weekend.

The tropical depression was expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday night or early Friday morning and will make a landfall over the Bicol Region by December 24 or December 25.

Director Rosario Cabrera of the Office of Civil Defense in Western Visayas on Thursday convened core members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) for a Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) and will call for a second round of meeting today on their ongoing preparations.

Cabrera said Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) in the region were already alerted through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to revisit their preparations guided by their “Operation Listo” or disaster preparedness manual.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also has its standby funds in addition to food packs that will be distributed when necessary.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also expressed readiness to respond when necessary for search and rescue operations.

Since the tropical depression is expected to make a landfall on a holiday, Cabrera said they have identified focal persons for the operation of the RDRRMC, which will be on a 24/7 mode.

Similarly, the PDRRMC of Albay said it will adopt five scenario-based disaster strategies against Nina.

Cedric Daep, PDRRMC action officer, said preparations are in place as they consider the occurrence of four disaster-based scenarios: the province is directly hit; it is not directly hit but affected within the 300-kilometer radius of the storm; the province is affected even outside the 50-kilometer periphery of the tropical depression but within the rain band;Nina is affected by amihan or the northeast monsoon that would push the tropical depression to move south, affecting the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate.

The last scenario is when the tropical depression moves to the north side of Albay.

“We have prepared disaster mitigating measures for these eventualities,” Daep said in an interview.

He added that floods and landslidse will threaten the three cities and 15 towns of Albay as Nina approaches the Philippine Area of Responsibility and hit the Bicol Region either on Saturday or Sunday.

Daep said Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara, also PDRRMC chairman, issued an advisory on Thursday morning, declaring the province under a state of preparedness.

He added that all city DRRMCs and municipal DRRMCs have been directed to prepare and execute disaster preemptive measures to ensure that the PDRRMC meets the zero casualty goal.

The PDRRMC also issued a no-sailing order for small types of sea craft to prevent fisherfolk from fishing as rough seas develop because of the bad weather prevailing on Thursday.

PDRRMC data show that during typhoons, 487 villages are affected by floods with 59,796 families or 286,160 persons are threatened.

The same data indicate that 21,294 families or 96,828 persons in 211 villages are threatened by landslides while 29,087 families or 144,119 persons living in 161 villages will be affected by storm surges should there be a typhoon.



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