7 provinces under signal No. 2

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    AUTHORITIES have begun the preemptive evacuation of residents in flood- and landslide-prone areas in the Bicol region, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said yesterday.

    Typhoon “Tisoy” is expected to make landfall in Bicol tonight or early morning tomorrow.
    Signal No. 2 was raised yesterday in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and Samar.

    Metro Manila was under signal No. 1 together with Aurora, eastern Nueva Ecija (Cabanatuan City, Cabiao, Gabaldon, Gapan City, General Mamerto Natividad, General Tinio, Jaen, Laur, Pantabangan, Peñaranda, Rizal, San Antonio, San Isidro, San Leonardo and Santa Rosa), Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Quezon including Polilio Islands, Camarines Norte, Masbate including Burias and Ticao Island, Marinduque, Romblon,

    Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, northern Negros Oriental (Bacolod City, Bago City, Cadiz City, Calatrava, Enrique B. Magalona, Escalante City, La Carlota City, Manapla, Murcia, Pulupandan, Sagay City, Salvador Benedicto, San Carlos City, San Enrique, Silay City, Talisay City, Toboso, Valladolid and Victorias City), northern and Metro Cebu, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao Island.

    As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Tisoy was some 595 km east of Virac in Catanduanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph. It was moving west at 20 kph and was forecast to be some 190 km east of Virac this afternoon.

    Senior weather specialist Chris Perez said Tisoy is forecast to move out of the land mass on Wednesday, heading toward the West Philippine Sea. It is projected to be out of the country on Friday.

    “What is the possible impact of Tisoy in our country? It may uproot trees, topple electrical posts, it can destroy houses made of light to medium materials, remove roofs of houses,” said Perez.

    “Of course it may bring cause flooding and landslides due to rains and storm surge due to strong winds while approaching our country,” he added.

    Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director, said disaster officials are expecting strong winds and moderate to heavy rains from Tisoy.

    “Destruction of inferior houses due to strong winds, flashfloods in the flood-prone areas and low-lying areas, and landslides in upland areas and of course storm surge in the coastal areas (up to four meters). Those are worst-case scenarios we’re preparing for,” he said.

    Jalad, concurrent administrator of the Office of Civil Defense, said preemptive evacuation in risk areas was discussed meetings of the NDRRMC on Friday and Saturday. He could not immediately say how many have been moved to safer grounds.

    Jalad said the NDRRMC and its field units are prepared for Tisoy, saying they have pre-positioned personnel and assets for search and rescue operations and relief goods and medicines for those who may be affected.

    On Saturday, the NDRRMC said at least 1,964 barangays in mountainous areas are highly susceptible to landslides while 5,345 barangays are highly susceptible to flooding in 10 regions — Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas and Central Visayas.

    AFP chief Gen. Noel Clement has activated the “Battle Staff” in Camp Aguinaldo “to monitor how the typhoon will impact on the ground and to render immediate assistance as needed.”

    AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the humanitarian assistance and disaster response units of the military’s Southern Luzon Command are on standby.

    PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa said he has directed all PNP units to assist in case of evacuation and relief operations.