Cebu LGUs on red alert
Thirty-tree local government units in northern and central Cebu, as well as in Metro Cebu areas, are on red alert status due to raised tropical cyclone wind signals from Typhoon Tisoy (which made landfall yesterday afternoon).
Typhoon Tisoy was expected to make landfall over Catanduanes, Albay or Sorsogon between Monday night and Tuesday early morning, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). It is the 20th tropical cyclone that hit the country this year.
Being on red alert means residents living in danger areas are urged to heed preemptive evacuations that may be advised by their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO). Danger areas include coastal areas and landslide-prone areas.
While evacuation is voluntary, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Neil Sanchez said LDRRMOs would prioritize vulnerable individuals like senior citizens, children, and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The LGUs on red alert are Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Madridejos, Santa Fe, Medellin, Bogo City, San Remigio, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Tuburan,Carmen, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Asturias, Puro, Tudela, and Pilar, which have been placed under Signal Number 2 as of yesterday afternoon.
Also included are areas placed under Signal Number 1 like Balamban, Toledo City, Pinamungahan, Aloguinsan, Naga City, Talisay City, Cordova, Minglanilla, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Cebu City, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and Danao City.
Sanchez said that as of Sunday, December 1, two LGUs have already conducted preemptive evacuation but residents chose to return to their homes.
"Mao man gud ang concern nila, kinsa ang mobantay sa ilang balay.
That is why we are asking the help of the PNP and the Armed Forces kay mao pud ang mo-secure sa area nga ingon ana," he said.
Classes in pre-school and elementary levels are still suspended today. Most of the LGUs affected also suspended classes for secondary levels.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also directed local chief executives to be present in their respective localities to oversee disaster management operations personally.
DILG said that as head of their respective Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, governors, mayors, and barangay captains are expected to be in their respective stations to man the incident command center and monitor the situation on the ground vigilantly.
LGUs are also ordered to keep an eye on sea levels, as well as the level of river waters and settlements in low-lying areas or near riverbanks, which have experienced recent and repeated flooding, as well as those at the base of sliding slopes or ridges and areas identified as very high/ critical landslide zone.
“As the safety of our people is of paramount importance, local execs in coordination with local police and fire/emergency response authorities should, therefore, carry out preemptive or forced evacuation in areas with very high susceptibility to storm surge, flood and landslide, if necessary," DILG said.
During this period, DILG said local authorities should also restrict or ban tourist activities such as mountaineering, surfing, hiking, and diving.
Small-scale miners are also advised to avoid any mining activity for the time being.
"It is also essential to ensure that communication lines are working in order to regularly inform local communities of situation updates and preparedness actions of the localities and to advise the national government on what assistance it could provide to affected communities," DILG said.
Yesterday, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia led a pre-disaster assessment meeting with PDRRMO representatives, Provincial Social Welfare Office (PSWO), Cebu Provincial
Police Office (CPPO), Coast Guard, Cebu Port Authority (CPA), and Red Cross.
Sanchez said the PDRRMO is coordinating closely with local government units.
In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella stressed the importance of preventive action in times of calamity.
"Because you can no longer bring back the lives of people kung dunay mabiktima. You can no longer repair the properties if they are destroyed," he said.
All vessels will not be allowed to travel in northern and Metro Cebu. Small vessels are not allowed at sea in towns in southern Cebu.
According to the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA), at least 220 passengers were stranded at Pier 1 and 113 at Pier 3 in Cebu City; 22 passengers in Santa Fe; 290 in Toledo City; and five in Argao. The stranded passengers were given hot meals.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast GuardCentral Visayas has also ordered the cancellation of several trips all over their area of responsibility.
PCG-CV Medical Teams and Quick Response Teams has preposition as augmentation to CGS Cebu Substations at Northeast and Northwest Cebu as proactive response to the expected very heavy rain last night brought by Tisoy.
Several flights of Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific were also cancelled.
Passengers are stranded at Pier 1 in Cebu City after sea travels were cancelled due to Typhoon Tisoy. ALDO
Dark clouds cover the skyline of Cebu City as local officials brace for Typhoon Tisoy. NELBERT BANAYNAL ALDO