Evacuations start as ‘Pablo’ moves closer to Mindanao


philstar.com – Preemptive evacuations have been ordered in areas in Mindanao that are expected to be hit by typhoon “Pablo” (international name Bopha), which was forecast to make landfall on Tuesday morning over Surigao del Sur.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) placed all its units in Mindanao and other parts of the country, particularly in Palawan and Visayas provinces, on red alert to prepare for the typhoon, which had been categorized by US meteorologists as a super typhoon.

Reports said that additional policemen have been dispatched to Surigao provinces to convince residents in high-risk areas to evacuate. Reports said that several residents continue to refuse to leave their homes despite the anticipated devastation that may be brought by the typhoon.

Preparations for the typhoon was heavier in Caraga, where several provinces are included in the path of the typhoon when it starts crossing land.

Director Blanchie Gobenciong, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) director in Caraga, said that alongside the preemptive evacuation are the pre-positioning of rescue teams and equipment in critical areas in the region.

“Aside from Hinatuan town, residents along coastal municipalities in the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Siargo in Dinagat, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Davao Oriental, have already evacuated,” Gobenciong said.

Preemptive evacuations were also conducted along coastal municipalities of Samar and Leyte, which are also included in the list of provinces that are in Pablo’s path.

“All these areas where preemptive evacuations were conducted are all facing the Pacific Ocean,” Gobenciong said.

Gobenciong said that as part of their ongoing preparation is the assumption that wide areas in Caraga would be without electricity as the typhoon is expected to topple electricity posts and cut off power lines during its onslaught.

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