Albay placed under preparedness stage as Typhoon Pepeng intensifies

October 1, 2009 10:18 pm 

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 2 — Albay Governor Salceda Friday placed the province under preparedness stage as Typhoon Pepeng further intensified which according to the weather agency have entered the country’s area of responsibility.

Typhoon Pepeng or PARMA has intensified with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 230 kph moving west northwest at 19 kph, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service (PAGASA).

Salceda called on the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) on Friday to map out a response strategy to the escalating disaster risk from Typhoon Pepeng.

Placing the entire province under preparedness stage, he directed all local disaster coordinating council to update their respective contingency plans especially in identifying population at risk for flooding, mudflow and landslides.

To strictly enforce the “zero casualty” rule the disaster councils were advised to closely monitor the situation for a possible implementation of preemptive evacuation as a response to the risk of extreme weather event like Typhoon Pepeng.

He also advised the various disaster councils to start monitoring the amount of rainfall on an hourly basis using the installed rain gauges in 15 strategic locations in the province.

The Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) will collect the data for interpretation and analysis for appropriate flood and landslide real-time warning.

Salceda directed the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) not to allow small sea crafts to sail in the west and east coast of Albay as well as sailing from Tabaco Port to Catanduanes.

Those residing near river channels, landslide threatened areas and floodplains of Albay, especially in the Kinale River System and lahar risk areas of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga Sto. Domingo and Legazpi City are advised to take precautionary measures and be prepared for evacuation to safer ground if rainfall content of Typhoon Pepeng the situation worsens.

He likewise, directed the Department of Education (DepEd) and private schools across the province to defer all outdoor activities. (PNA)

FFC/LQ/MSA/cbd

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