DUMAGUETE CITY – The provincial government of Negros Oriental is ready in case Tropical Storm Urduja cuts across the province this weekend as it moves slowly from the Eastern Visayas region.
Acting Governor Edward Mark Macias has ordered heightening of the preparations for the arrival of the storm even though Negros Oriental is not in its path based on weather reports, said Adrian Sedillo, executive office of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), Friday.
Sedillo said the PDRRMC called for a Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment/Emergency Response Preparedness Meeting on Thursday, attended by the different government and non-government agencies, to discuss preparations for potential rains and flooding due to Tropical Storm Urduja.
During the meeting, officials of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) here briefed PDRRMC members on the projected path of the storm and the necessary preparations and other measures needed in the event the storm would shift its path.
Government security forces have committed the deployment of Search and Rescue Units (SRU) when necessary, Sedillo said.
The Army’s 62nd Battalion committed 40 personnel, the Negros Island Geographical Battalion, one team, and the PNP, 200 personnel, to include those coming from the Public Safety Battalion.
All PNP stations are on alert status, same with the Coast Guard and the Philippie Navy here, who are on standby especially with their floating assets for relief and response operations, Sedillo said.
The Bureau of Fire Protection’s SRU is also on standby, he added.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office is also preparing food stuffs for distribution in the event of evacuation of people that might be affected by Urduja, according to Sedillo.
On top of this, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 7 has also reported that it has pre-positioned food packs in five areas in Negros Oriental, namely, Canlaon City, Guihulngan City, Mabinay, Vallehermoso and Bayawan City, the PDRRMC executive officer said.
Sedillo said the province is “ready to react” as the PNP stations are also under instructions to coordinate with local authorities to provide regular situationer reports, Sedillo added.
PAGASA, in its latest weather advisory, said the slow-moving Urduja is expected to make landfall this weekend, and continues to threaten parts of Bicol and the Visayas.
Some areas in Eastern Visayas are already flooded as of this writing due to heavy rains brought by the storm. (Judy Flores Partlow/PNA)