DISASTER PREPS. Cluster members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council convene for the Pre-Disaster Risk Reduction Assessment on Monday to prepare for the entry of Tropical Storm Odette. Western Visayas has been placed on high-risk classification, Cindy Ferrer, Civil Defense information officer, said on Tuesday (Dec. 14, 2021). (Photo courtesy of OCD6)

ILOILO CITY – The Western Visayas (Region 6) has been classified as high risk due to the threat of Tropical Storm Odette once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Some 1,111 villages in the region are susceptible to flooding and landslide based on the data of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Civil Defense information officer for Western Visayas Cindy Ferrer, said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Identified are 217 barangays from Aklan; 364, Antique; 78, Capiz; 42, Guimaras; 219 from the city and province of Iloilo; and 191 from Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.

“We have already alerted these barangays. They already know the protocol since we also provided them with list (of areas),” Ferrer said.

She said the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) down to the local DRRMs have been placed on Charlie protocol as directed by the national DRRMC.

According to the OCD-6, Charlie protocol is an extreme risk category and entails utmost preparations for projected high impacts due to high-risk levels.

“We are at high risk that is why we activated the Charlie protocol. There is a big chance that it will have an impact in Western Visayas, particularly in Negros Occidental,” Ferrer said.

The tropical storm is expected to pass Cauayan, Negros Occidental towards northern Iloilo and the northern part of Antique.

The RDRRMC also convened virtually its cluster members on December 13 to prepare for the tropical storm.

“We will also be activating our virtual emergency operations center connecting all our local DRRMCs. With this coordination and monitoring will be faster,” Ferrer added. (PNA)