LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – It may be too early to say the worst is over for Albay, but according to the province’s governor, it’s time for everyone to return to work.
In his 5th advisory for Typhoon Ruby released at 4 pm on Sunday, December 7, Albay Governor Joey Salceda, chairman of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) issued 5 directives through Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) director Cedric Daet.
In a press conference held at the provincial office, Daet said all persons evacuated due to Typhoon Ruby may return to their homes.
They are advised to decamp from evacuation centers, but are also warned to avoid flooded routes. Both the PDRRMC and state weather bureau PAGASA agree that winds from the typhoon no longer remain a threat to the province.
Typhoon Ruby may continue to bring rainfall, but the 30-mm-per-hour maximum predicted rainfall falls short of the 60-mm-per-hour required to produce mudflows, and the 220-240-mm-per-hour of rainfall required to generate landslides. Flooding is still possible, as the typhoon may enhance the northeastern monsoon.
“We are not saying the worst situation is over,” said Daet, “But for now we cannot see any situation of threat on landslide or mudflow.”
The notice to decamp only applies to residents who are not covered by the 6-kilometer radius of the permanent danger zone surrounding Mayon volcano.
The PDDRMC calls the situation a short-duration evacuation. Relief goods were distributed yesterday. Further assistance will still need to be evaluated. Military trucks have been deployed in at least 3 towns to assist families in their return home.
Classes, work, power and tourism
Class suspensions are maintained for all levels for Monday, December 8, but work for all government and private sectors will resume.
“Private and government will be back to work starting tomorrow,” Daet reiterated.
The PDRRMC is also notifying commercial power supplier APEC SMEC to lift isolation-driven power curtailment. The return of electricity, however, is still only a recommendation, “and remains the decision of APEC.”
The PDRRMC also rescheduled the twice-suspended provincial festival – the Karangahan – to Wednesday, December 10.
According to Raffy Alejandro, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 5 director, there are still no reported casualties in the Bicol region as of the press conference. – Rappler.com
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