Bicol on red alert as ‘Ulysses’ threatens region

Bicol on red alert as ‘Ulysses’ threatens region

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bicol Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) is now on “red alert” as Tropical Storm Ulysses approaches the region.

Claudio Yucot, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director and RDRRMC chairman, during their pre-disaster risk assessment meeting, issued a memorandum declaring the red alert status and placing all RDRRMC response assets and agencies on standby for possible deployment to affected local government units (LGUs).

Gremil Naz, OCD spokesperson, on Tuesday, said the memorandum includes the “no sailing” policy for fisherfolk and preemptive evacuation by the local DRRM councils (LDRRMCs) on or before Nov. 10.

“LDRRMCs are advised to explore all means of communicating advisories to the communities due to the power interruption and mobile and internet connection difficulties,” he added.

During the meeting, provincial DRRM offices also presented their preparedness actions for the possible effects of the tropical storm.

As of 8 a.m on Tuesday, OCD reported 746 stranded passengers, one bus, 260 trucks, 32 light vehicles, and 39 sea vessels at different ports across the region.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), in its 8 a.m. weather bulletin, said based on all available data, “Ulysses” was 555 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes while slowly moving in the north-westward direction.

It has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

The provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and the eastern portion of Masbate are now under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1.

Meanwhile, Engr. Marie Grace Molina, Catanduanes provincial Science and Technology Center chief, in an interview, asked her fellow Bicolanos to follow the preemptive evacuation order of their local governments.

“If pwede nyong matugunan ang sa inyong pamilya, pakisabihan na maglipat na. (If you can disseminate the information to your families, please inform them to evacuate as early as now),” she said.

To inform villagers of the latest weather and evacuation updates, Molina conducted a “bandilyo” where she went around the villages, particularly the coastal areas.

“With no electricity, our kababayan (town mates) here in Binanuahan, Marinawa, San Andres, and Cabuagao (BiMaSanCa) have no means to know the latest update so with my little help I was able to help them,” she said.

Molina also thanked the government, particularly the Presidential Communications Operations Office for giving updates on its efforts to help Catanduanes which was devastated by Super Typhoon Rolly only recently. (PNA)

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