Those in Bicol, the Visayas, and Mindanao are advised to take precautionary measures amid rain from Paolo, while Palawan is affected by the low pressure area
MANILA, Philippines (Oct. 17, 2017) — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) advised local governments and residents to be on alert for both Severe Tropical Storm Paolo (Lan) and a low pressure area (LPA).
The NDRRMC on Tuesday, October 17, convened an emergency response preparedness (ERP) meeting at its operations center in Camp Aguinaldo.
There are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals due to Paolo, since the severe tropical storm is too far from land.
But Paolo’s spiral bands are bringing rain to Bicol, the Visayas, and Mindanao, so local government units (LGUs) in these areas should prepare for possible floods and landslides.
The LPA, meanwhile, is located off Coron, Palawan, also bringing rain to the province. Tours at the Puerto Princesa Underground River have been suspended due to the LPA.
Fishermen or those with small sea vessels are advised to coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard first, since seas are moderate to rough.
The NDRRMC said it has alerted its regional and local DRRM councils to take the necessary precautions as early as possible.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has prepositioned food and non-food items in its field and central offices as part of the agency’s precautionary measures.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also advised concerned LGUs to follow measures outlined in Oplan Listo.
Oplan Listo uses a disaster preparedness manual first adopted by the DILG when Typhoon Ruby hit in December 2014. It provides mayors and other local government disaster management agencies a checklist that enumerates what should be done before, during, and after typhoons.
Minimum critical activities that LGUs should be enforcing in affected areas include the following:
- Secure power, water supply, and communications
- Start preemptive evacuation
- Announce forced evacuation
- Prepare list of evacuees
- Distribute relief packs and conduct mass feeding
- Stop traffic in landslide-prone areas
The manual includes flowcharts that correspond to 3 phases of critical preparedness actions – Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. It also contains a tropical cyclone information board and minimum actions to guide mayors.
The public is advised to stay vigilant and follow the orders of authorities in their respective areas.
The 1991 Local Government Code and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 mandate LGUs to be on the frontline of emergency measures during disasters.