Isabela bans liquor, fishing, swimming as Chedeng nears
CAGAYAN VALLEY, Philippines – The province of Isabela has begun implementing its ordinance barring residents and tourists from drinking liquor and going to the beach as Typhoon Chedeng (international name: Maysak) approaches.
Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III said on Saturday, April 4, that the Philippine National Police-Isabela and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) were instructed to make sure coastal beaches and rivers are cleared of tourists, swimmers, travelers, and fishermen by 5 pm that day.
“We have a liquor ban ordinance during typhoons. There will also be no fishing and swimming in coastal towns,” Dy said, adding that the residents should be prepared and in fully vigilant.
He said he already instructed the mayor of the coastal town of Dinapigue in Southern Isabela, where the typhoon is expected to make its first landfall on Sunday morning, April 5, to take precautionary actions.
The province has yet to feel the forecast bad weather brought by Chedeng. Dy said that parts of Isabela are experiencing dark skies, but no heavy rains are reported yet. In Ilagan City, in fact, the sun is still visible.
"Ganito talaga sa amin. Kapag may mga bagyo, biglaan na lang na lumalakas kaya sobra sobra ang paghahanda namin (This is normal in our place. When there's a typhoon, it just suddenly gets very strong so we are doing a lot of preparations)," Dy told Rappler in a phone interview.
Some residents in coastal areas of Dinapigue town have started to "voluntarily" evacuate, the governor said.
“May mga residenteng kusa nang nagsisilikas kasi nga alam nila, through social media at through media, yung threat ng storm surges. Good thing may mga matataas tayong lugar sa Dinapigue na assigned as evacuation centers," he said.
(Some residents have already evacuated voluntarily because they are well informed of the possible threats of storm surges through social media and regular media. Good thing we have assigned evacuation centers in high level areas.)
The PDRRMO-Isabela also warned residents of possible flashfloods and soil erosion due to expected heavy rains.
“Although forecasted to weaken when it makes landfall, Isabeleños are still advised to take necessary precautions as Chedeng can still bring considerable damage. Please refrain from venturing into the seas and please avoid the river as much as possible because of possible flashfloods,” PDRRMO-Isabela coordinator Edmond Guzman said.
The disaster agency encouraged residents to report emergencies at 0915-819-3187 or 0921-585-2341.