P42M ready for relief operations

Posted on December 4, 2012

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MANILA — The government has set aside some P42 million in standby fund and relief goods for provinces in the path of typhoon “Pablo” in the Visayas and Mindanao, Malacañang officials said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has set aside some P38.6 million in relief provisions for Regions 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 13 or the Caraga Region, on top of some P3.7 million in standby fund, said Undersecretary Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson.

“So more or less we are readying cities in Mindanao and in Visayas just to make sure. It looks like Caraga Region will be directly hit, and everyone is hoping that it won’t be that fierce. It has slightly weakened and we’re hoping that this will continue,” she said.

President Aquino met with officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government, National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and Pagasa about contingency plans.

In Cagayan de Oro which is preparing for the first anniversary of the Sendong tragedy on Dec. 16 and 17, voluntary evacuation started yesterday.

As of 9 p.m. most hotels in the city were fully booked as middle class families wary of flashfloods checked in.

The memory of Sendong restoked trauma and some panic with the weather bureau forecast which saw Pablo treading a similar path to Sendong that caused more than 700 deaths.

In its 5 p.m. advisory yesterday,P agasa said Typhoon Pablo is expected to be in the vicinity of Cagayan de Oro City by this afternoon.

Pagasa forecasts Pablo to dump 15 – 30 mm of rain per hour along the path of the 600-km diameter typhoon.

“I am also worried about the rains it will dump in the Tagoloan River watersheds in north eastern Bukidnon as it may cause widespread floods in the eastern portion of Macajalar Bay in Misamis Oriental; heavy rains in the Kalatungan ang Kitanglad mountain ranges could again spell havoc in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities,” said Raoul Geollegue Technical Team Leaders of Enterprise Works Philippines, a branch of Relief International.

“Because of the very big diameter of the typhoon, the flood and landslide risk may not be over after the eye of the storm exits Mindanao, it can still continue dumping rains. So we should not put down our guard even if the eye of the storm exits .”

Evacuation of persons along the Cagayan de Oro river and Tagoloan river should be done to prevent any casualties, he said.

I hope the high pressure area eases up so there will be a steep north westerly path of Pablo and it will exit in the eastern Gingoog Bay and into Camiguin Island and the Bohol sea.

But if this happens, floods and landslides should still be watched in Gingoog City and the rest of the eastern Misamis Oriental./Inquirer and BenCyrus G. Ellorin

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