Catanduanes, CamSur 'ready and on high alert' for Chedeng
MANILA, Philippines – Local government units in the Bicol region are not taking any chances even if Typhoon Chedeng (Maysak) continues to weaken as it approaches land.
Public Storm Signal No. 1 was declared over Catanduanes and Camarines Sur, according to the 11 am bulletin of state weather bureau PAGASA on Friday, April 3. (READ: Chedeng weakens further, storm signal raised)
But according to the LGUs, they have been ready days before Typhoon Chedeng entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
The Office of the Civil Defense in Region V met with various response agencies to discuss and align plans.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reducation Management Office (PDRRMO) of the region convened as early as Wednesday, April 1, to plan ahead of the typhoon.
They are on "high alert" and will remain so until the risk is lowered.
"Ilang araw bago pumasok iyong bagyo, nag-meet na sila para maayos ang pag-plano (Days before the typhoon entered PAR, they already met to lay out the plan)," Catanduanes PDRRMO Information Officer John Grey told Rappler. "We've been on high alert since."
As of Friday, the said areas are experiencing fair weather – cloudy skies and hot temprerature – the weather condition in the past few weeks.
As Typhoon Chedeng hovers, concerned local agencies found the clear weather as an opportunity to prepare. Rescue units have been deployed to key sites across affected areas in anticipation of the typhoon.
In Camarines Sur, supplies have also been prepositioned in identified places that could be "cut off" with bad weather – among best practices learned from past disasters.
"Iyong mga goods namin, lalo na iyong bigas, ay nailagay na namin malapit sa mga lugar na may tendency ma-cut off kapag may bagyo," Environment Disaster Management and Emergy Response Office (EMDERO) head Chris Rivero said. "Isa itong lesson na natutunan namin in the past kaya lagi na namin pinapatupad."
(Our goods, especially rice, are already placed near areas which could be cut off when there's a typhoon. It's one of the lessons we learned in the past, so we are enforcing it.)
Be ready for evacuation
Meanwhile, there has been no order for evacuation of residents across the region, but residents are reminded to be alert for any changes.
"Negative pa po tayo sa evacuation pero sinisigurado po natin na ang mga tao ay maalam sa kung ano ang dapat gawin tuwing may bagyo," Grey explained. (There's no evacuation order yet but we make sure that the people know what to do during typhoons.)
Rivero emphasized that the local barangays in Camarines Sur are also monitoring the situation in their areas and are in close coordination with the provincial office.
"Maalam ang mga barangay officials natin sa probinsya kaya alam na nila kung paano i-monitor ang weather conditions," he told Rappler. "Natututukan nila ang sitwasyon ng kanilang mga lugar at residente."
(Barangay officials in our province know how to monitor weather conditions. They are able to focus on the situation in their area, as well as the situation of residents.)
Ready for #ChedengPH
Even if Typhoon Chedeng weakened, the two provinces currently under storm signal warning are not letting their guards down as anything can happen – just like how a typhoon developed during the summer season in the country. (READ: How rare are April storms in the Philippines?)
"Ready na ready na kami sa anuman ang mangyari," Rivero emphasized. "Sa pagtutulungan ng mga bawa't ahensya at ng mga tao na rin, makakaya itong bagyo."
(We are more than ready for anything. With the help of different agencies and the people, we'll weather the storm.) – Rappler.com