DILG prompts local execs to evacuate vulnerable residents amidst Typhoon Ompong, enhanced Habagat


The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is calling on governors, mayors, and barangay captains in Regions 1, 2, 3, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to immediately evacuate all residents living in landslide and flood prone areas to safe evacuation centers through safe routes. The chances of landslides are particularly high in CAR.

DILG Spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya, announced this on Friday as weather forecasters say Typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Mangkhut) will be a destructive typhoon that will enhance the southwest monsoon and estimate it to make a landfall in Cagayan-Isabela Aurora between 5 am to 8 am tomorrow Saturday.

“Local chief executives (LCEs) as heads of their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) must be without hesitation do pre-emptive actions to evacuate vulnerable residents. Times like this is when public service has to be most accountable, responsive, and foresighted,” he says.

Malaya says that according the DILG Central Office Disaster Information Coordinating Center (CODIX), storm surges of 6 to 7 meters are likely in the coastal areas of Northern Cagayan, including Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, as well as coastal areas in Ilocos Sur when the eye of Ompong is over Batanes.

“Every minute counts. Immediate evacuation should be to areas that are more than 10 meters above sea level, regardless of distance from the coastline,” Malaya advised.

Meanwhile, LCEs in Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan are prompted to evacuate residents along riverbanks and coastal areas because of possible flash floods in these provinces.

In Region 3, floods are expected in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Bulacan.

“For those in Metro Manila, prepare for moderate to heavy rains due to Habagat intensified by Typhoon Ompong. Flooding is expected in the usual low-lying areas,” he says.

Local governments in general are enjoined to monitor all advisories and severe weather bulletins of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as well as from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Regional DRRMCs.

Heavy rains and possible flooding or landslides are also expected in localities along the Western seaboard of the Philippines, including some areas in Regions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, due to Habagat intensified by Typhoon Ompong. LCEs in these regions are also advised to be as cautious and reactivate or maintain activation of disaster monitoring and reporting systems.

Sanction for absentee LCEs

Malaya reiterates DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año’s recent pronouncement that the Department will sanction LCEs that fail to show up and remain absent amidst weather disturbance by Typhoon Ompong.

The DILG Spokesperson says that at this point in time, LGUs must have already made the preparations recommended in OPLAN Listo.

The Department’s OPLAN Listo recommends three critical preparedness actions that LGUs must take: Alpha for low risk areas, Bravo for medium-risk areas, and Charlie for high-risk areas.

Upon receiving alert of the storm, local government units (LGUs) must prepare the resources, supplies, equipment and relief goods needed around 48 hours prior to landfall.

LGUs must also standby equipment and deploy teams for security, medical, clearing, evacuation, relief distribution, and communication needs.

He says that LGUs must send rescue and medical teams to highly vulnerable areas during and after the disaster.

They must also secure power, water supply and communications, patrol areas and standby for clearing operations. —DILGCO