World | Philippines

Philippines braces for Bopha

Disaster-prone areas alerted for heavy rain, floods and landslides

  • By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
  • Published: 14:29 December 2, 2012
  • Gulf News

Manila: Disaster response units were scrambled and pre-positioned in provinces on Sunday, as areas along the expected path of a powerful storm were alerted for heavy rain, floods and landslides.

The presidential palacesaid the government has prepared all the necessary precautions and prepared government resources for the arrival of typhoon Bopha (local codename: “Pablo”).

In a regular Sunday press briefing aired over government-run radio station dzRB, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte called on all responsible government agencies, the media, non-government volunteer groups and volunteers to do their part in preparing for the weather disturbance and lessening its impact on the country.

The official called on local government units to monitor the bulletins aired by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Agency (PAGASA) and constantly update their constituents on weather developments to keep them safe.

“Keep updated on the bulletins from PAGASA. Always cooperate with the local authorities as the National Government is all ready to provide all assistance to those that may be affected,” Valte said.

Earlier, disaster management officials said one of the reasons why there are casualties during natural calamities is because people refuse to heed government calls for evacuation.

“When authorities in your area order evacuation, you have to move and go to the evacuation centres,” Benito Ramos, chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said.

According to PAGASA, “Bopha” was located 1,110km east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, in Southern Philippines, with maximum sustained winds of 185km/h near the centre and gustiness of up to 220km/h. It is forecast to move west northwest at 22km/h.

Compared with previous typhoons, Bopha, is relatively moving fast.

It is expected to deliver heavy rain starting Monday afternoon in Mindanao, and will continue its north-northwestern path towards Central Philippines, possibly hitting Cebu, Bohol and the Western Visayas Region.

It is expected to bring 20-30mm of rain per hour.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the agency has pre-positioned relief supplies in the areas along the path of the typhoon to facilitate quick delivery of aid to affected locales.

The Philippine Navy said it had placed its ships on alert for possible delivery of supplies to affected areas.

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