Polillo island residents warned on North Korean rocket debris fallout

April 4, 2012 10:10 pm 

By Saul E. Pa-a

CAMP GENERAL VICENTE LIM, Calamba City April 4 – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) IV-A and the Calabarzon Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) here on Wednesday advised local government units and residents of Polillo island on their disaster preparedness and emergency plans in the event of debris fallout when North Korea launches its rocket observation satellite next week.

Regional Director Vicente Tomazar of the OCD Calabarzon regional office and RDRRMC IV-A chairperson confirmed reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Operations Center (NDRRMC-OPCEN) that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be launching an earth observation satellite kwangmyongsong-3 between April 12 to 16, 2012 at about 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Philippine time).

The Satellite will be launched in the North Korean Sohae Satellite Launching Station in North Phyongan Province and once in flight, its debris fallout has two stages.

The first debris is expected to fall between the international waters of South Korea and China and the second on the northeastern part of Luzon, about 190 nautical miles northeast of Sta. Ana, Cagayan and 150 nautical miles east of Polillo Island in Quezon province.

Polillo Island, about 140 kilometers east of Metro Manila, hosts three municipalities of Polillo on the Southern part with Burdeos on the east and Panukulan on the north and home to more than 65,000 inhabitants.

Disaster preparedness and risk reduction agencies cautioned that the said launch may bring debris that might endanger the people residing in the identified areas.

Tomazar issued the advisories for the concerned Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (PDRRMO) to make the necessary preparedness measures.

According to the OCD/RDRRMC regional head, the concerned PDRRM member-agencies must convene for coordination, identification of possible scenarios and gaps, formulation of contingency plan and implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) when necessary.

The OCD/RDRRMC Calabarzon regional offices also enjoined the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center (DRRMOC) and Emergency Response Group to be placed on “Standby Alert” from April 12 to 16 on a 24-hour basis.

Local government units (LGUs) on the identified areas in Quezon province were also advised to collaborate with public information officers and the media on the widest dissemination of precautionary measures and for possible evacuation of residents if the need arises.

Tomazar also urged local leaders and DRRMC officers to inform the inhabitants in the areas of responsibility (AOR) to stay indoors and confine themselves in their homes during the said dates and time for their safety and protection.

He also advised fishermen and people from coastal towns to avoid venturing into the sea following NDRRMC advisory on no sea travel path for seacraft on whatever purpose especially for the specified areas.

The local officials, residents and constituents are urged to report any debris that may reach the ground and immediately report to their local DRRMC officers or any focal person for the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) personnel to handle such occurrences.

He also encouraged the residents and the public to report immediately any untoward incidents/emergencies arising of such debris fallout for the emergency response groups to undertake necessary actions. (PNA)

RMA/SEP/rsm

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