NDRRMC, local government units prepare ahead of Vinta landfall
MANILA, Philippines – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is preparing for the onslaught of Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin), which is set to hit Surigao del Sur between late Thursday evening, December 21 and early Friday morning, December 22.
In a press conference on Thursday, NDRRMC Spokesperson Romina Marasigan reiterated their call for residents living in landslide-prone and flood-prone areas to evacuate immediately.
She also urged those living near mining sites in Mindanao to conduct preemptive evacuation to avoid casualties should there be landslides.
Residents and local officials may refer to the hazard maps produced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to check on areas susceptible to floods and landslides. The MGB has identified at least 5 hazard-prone areas in Vinta's path.
In Caraga and Northern Mindanao, local government units (LGUs) are also preparing for the landfall of the tropical storm. Both regions are in the direct path of Vinta. (READ: What LGUs should do before Vinta's landfall)
The Surigao del Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) convened earlier on Thursday to map out measures for dealing with the effects of Vinta.
Preschool to senior high school classes were canceled in Tandag City in Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, and Agusan del Norte. The PDRRMO said classrooms in these schools are ready to accept evacuees.
Agusan del Sur also prepared heavy equipment for possible rescue operations.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office in Caraga also prepositioned 9,201 food packs worth P2.625 million.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) in Caraga has activated its Rapid Health Assessment teams for possible deployment. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
In Northern Mindanao, the DSWD activated its Quick Response Team (QRT). Regional Director Nestor Ramos also said food and non-food items have been prepositioned in Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental.
"As of today, DSWD Field Office X has prepositioned 30,000 family food packs and has a standby fund of P3 million as its augmentation to the local government units responding to disaster operations," Ramos added. – with a report from Bobby Lagsa / Rappler.com