MANILA -- Preemptive evacuation in regions that will be heavily affected by Typhoon "Ompong" has begun, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Edgar Posadas said Thursday.
These are the Cordillera, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and Ilocos regions, Posadas said, adding that the preemptive evacuation is being initiated by local government units.
"Yes, in fact, we have record(ed) already itong sa (here in) Rizal, Kalinga tapos narinig ko rin sa Ilocos meron (na) din (And then I heard they also started that in Ilocos). (Ang) Isabela, naka-ready na rin sila (they are also ready now). So, basically siguro (probably) after the PDRA (pre-disaster risk assessment) mamaya (later), pag-uusapan natin sila (we will talk about it). I'm sure magbabago ito (the figures will change), madadagdagan yung data natin (we will have additional data)," he added.
Posadas said preemptive evacuation is vital as "Ompong" is expected to bring strong rains and winds in a wide area.
"Very important kasi alam natin na papasok siya dito sa eastern side at basically malawak (because we know that ‘Ompong’ will enter the eastern side and basically it has wide scope). Hindi lang ito ulan, yung habagat nga nagpe-preemptive evacuation tayo. Ito hangin na napakalakas at saka bubuhos talaga yung ulan (This is not just rains. Remember, we hold preemptive evacuation because of the impact of the southwest monsoon. This will bring strong winds and heavy rains)," he said.
The NDRRMC is expecting over 800,000 individuals to be preemptively evacuated from the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Abra, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.
Meanwhile, the NDRRMC on Thursday afternoon formally conducted send-off ceremonies for its 179-strong Rapid Deploy Team that will assess damage in areas that might be battered by "Ompong".
These troops are from the Army's 525th Engineering Battalion, 505th Search-and-Rescue Wing, and other member agencies of the NDRRMC. The unit will be initially deployed to Clark Field, Pampanga. (PNA)