BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental went on red alert status on Friday afternoon as Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 1 was hoisted across the province due to Tropical Storm Paeng.
“Respective local disaster risk reduction and management councils and operation centers are directed to raise their status to red alert. Conduct preemptive or mandatory/forced evacuation, if necessary,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said in a memorandum.
Red alert is raised in anticipation of an imminent emergency and requires response agency staffing in the operations center and immediate inter-agency coordination.
As of 2 p.m. on Friday, some 13,710 individuals from 3,076 families in Negros Occidental have been affected by flooding due to torrential rains brought by the storm.
The latest report of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) showed the flood-hit residents are from seven local government units (LGUs), including the cities of San Carlos and Bago as well as the municipalities of Moises Padilla, Calatrava, E.B. Magalona, Valladolid and Hinoba-an.
PSWDO head Merle Garcia said those affected have been provided with family food packs by their respective LGUs.
“We are coordinating with the social welfare offices and with the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Western Visayas, and also preparing family food packs,” she added.
The most affected residents are in Valladolid, totaling 11,615 persons from 2,589 families in nine villages.
All have remained home as no displaced families or persons are inside the evacuation centers, based on the report.
In San Carlos City, the province’s northernmost locality, 524 persons from 102 families in five villages have been displaced, and all are staying in evacuation centers.
The neighboring Calatrava has reported 950 affected residents, from 190 families in nine barangays, but none are staying in evacuation sites.
In E.B. Magalona, 242 persons from 90 families in one village have been affected while in Hinoba-an, the southernmost LGU of the province, 331 persons from 101 families in two villages, have sought shelter in evacuation centers.
Eight persons, from three families in Bago City, are also staying in an evacuation center while four individuals from one family in Moises Padilla have also been affected, but remained home.
In this capital city, some 13 individuals have also been evacuated as of Friday.
Meanwhile, more LGUs in Negros Occidental have also suspended classes on Friday, including the cities of Cadiz, Sagay, and Himamaylan as well as the municipalities of Ilog and Isabela.
Among those which have canceled classes on Thursday and Friday are the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay, Silay, Victorias, and the municipalities of Murcia and E.B. Magalona.
On Friday noon, the Philippine Coast Guard suspended all sea trips from ports in five cities in northern Negros Occidental, including Bacolod, Cadiz, Sagay, Escalante, and San Carlos, after TCWS No. 1 has been hoisted in Negros Occidental based on the weather bureau's latest bulletin. (PNA)