MASBATE CITY – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in Bicol has placed all disaster response offices on red alert effective immediately to prepare for the possible onslaught of Tropical Depression (TD) Amang.
In a memorandum issued on Tuesday, Claudio Yucot, Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Bicol regional director and Bicol DRRMC chairperson, said the raising of alert status from blue to red is necessary due to the uncertainty of the movement, track, and intensification of the weather disturbance, and to heighten appropriate precautionary actions for possible flooding, flash floods, or landslides.
"Closely monitor the developments of 'Amang' and evaluate the need for evacuation for high-risk areas and barangays. Evacuation for high-risk areas and barangays shall be led by the local DRRMCs based on the results of their PDRAs (pre-disaster risk assessments)," Yucot said during a virtual meeting.
He added that due to possible interruption of electricity, mobile, and internet connections, provincial and local DRMMCs are advised to explore all means of communicating advisories to the community.
"All response assets must be ready for deployment and close monitoring of the respective area of responsibilities," Yucot added.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol maximized its deployment in preparation for “Amang.”
Lt. Col. Malu Calubaquib, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5), said in an interview the PNP-Bicol ensures maximum deployment of response teams on the path of the tropical depression.
"We already activated the Reactionary Standby Support Force (RSSF) and Search and Rescue Teams who shall be first to be deployed to facilitate the evacuation of personnel threatened by flash floods and landslides," she said.
Calubaquib added that Brig. Gen. Westrimundo Obinque, PRO5 regional director, ordered unit commanders to closely coordinate with the local government units (LGUs) in their respective areas of assignment to help attain zero casualty during the onslaught of "Amang."
Suspension of sea travels in the ports of Masbate, Catanduanes and Sorsogon was also raised.
"The public is also advised to prepare and remain safe. PNP-Bicol remains on alert status to respond to any eventualities that may happen. Rest assured the security concerns of the public shall be addressed immediately," she said. (PNA)