Visayas LGUs brace for strongest typhoon this year

Almost 1,000 families have been evacuated in Tacloban City, while residents have started panic buying in Cebu City

EVACUATION. 12 barangays in Tacloban City, Leyte, are evacuated almost a day before Typhoon Haiyan is expected to make landfall. Photo from the Tacloban City Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Almost 1,000 families were to be evacuated in Tacloban City Wednesday night, November 6, as the rest of the Visayas started preparing for Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda when it enters the Philippine area of responsibility).

The state weather bureau PAGASA has said it will be the strongest storm to hit the Visayas this year.

According to Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim, 12 danger-prone barangays would be evacuated, a full day before Yolanda is expected to make landfall in Leyte and nearby Samar.

The barangays are either located along the coast of Tacloban, or are prone to floods and landslides. They are:

  • Payapay
  • Baybay, San Jose
  • Catisan 
  • Costa Brava 
  • Palanog 
  • San Roque 
  • Salavacion
  • Upper Nulatule 
  • Parts of BNG 
  • Suhi
  • Utap 
  • Apitong

Lim said police and military forces would be deployed in the barangays to prevent looting. Meanwhile, the city’s disaster risk reduction and mitigation council (DRRMC) was already on alert and would be on duty 24 hours a day beginning Wednesday evening.

Twitter user Alvin Louis tweeted this photo from Tacloban City, and said people were starting to panic buy in grocery stores in anticipation of the storm. 

Panic buying in Cebu

The nearby province of Cebu is already under Blue Alert as of Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday evening, the alert will be raised to Red, according to PDRRMC officer Neil Sanchez.

Over 3,000 family packs have been prepared to augment those that will handed out to local government units, Sanchez added.

Panic buying has been reported in parts of Cebu City. Sanchez said one store’s flashlight supply ran out Wednesday as Cebuanos prepared for the storm.

Cebu is one of the provinces affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Central Visayas on October 15.

The Cebu province’s northern area will likely be hit hardest by the storm, but Sanchez said they expected even southern towns to be affected due to the size of Yolanda. –