Gov't takes aggressive steps in preparation for 'Pepeng'

October 2, 2009 1:01 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 2 – The government has undertaken very aggressive preemptive measures to minimize the effects of typhoon "Pepeng" to the country as officials called on the people to remain calm and avoid panicking.

”We’re very aggressive in making preventive measures. We should remain calm and don’t do anything that could cause panic to our people,” said Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., also concurrent chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

No less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered preemptive evacuation of people living in low-lying areas and places where typhoon "Pepeng" is expected to pass to prevent casualties. “Pepeng”, which is a potential super typhoon, is expected to make its landfall Saturday.

Also part of the government aggressive measures, the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) had pre-positioned their respective units in key areas in various parts of the country to be able to respond on time if need arises.

“We should be forward-thinking but we should not panic. Just listen to the orders of local government officials, they have been brief to be pro-active,” said Teodoro.

The NDCC reports showed that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has placed the province of Catanduanes under storm warning signal number 3, which means 100-185 kph winds can be felt across the province.

More provinces were placed under signal number 2, including Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Northern Quezon, Polilio Islands, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur.

Signal number 1 was raised over Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Ilocos Norte; Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Rizal, the rest of Quezon, Marinduque, Albay, Burias Islands, Sorsogon, Metro Manila and Northern Samar.

Typhoon signal number 2 is possible over Metro Manila and surrounding places by Saturday.

Pagasa also warned residents along coastal areas such as Isabela, Aurora, Pangasinan and Ilocos region against the occurrence of storm surge, which spawn tsunami-like tidal waves that could wipe out villages.

The NDCC advised residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under signals number 3, 2 and 1 to take all the necessary precautionary measures against possible flash floods and landslides, Pagasa said. (PNA) LAP/MM


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