Eastern Mindanao Command still on alert for 'Agaton'

January 20, 2014 10:23 am 

MANILA, Jan. 20 — With Typhoon "Agaton" expected to be in Philippine territory until Thursday, Eastern Mindanao Command head, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III, on Monday ordered all his men to be on alert for possible disaster relief missions.

"All military units in this AOR (area of responsibility) are (ordered) to join with municipal disaster response relief units, local officials, and the Philippine National Police for possible relief operations," he said.

Cruz said that coordination among military units for augmentation is a must during times of natural and man-made calamities.

Last Saturday, the Eastern Mindanao Command announced that its field units have assisted local government units in the area in the preemptive evacuation of residents in the threatened localities.

Capt. Alberto Caber, the unit's spokesperson, said their troopers helped the Surigao Del Sur provincial government enforced preemptive evacuations in the coastal communities of Cantilan and Cortez towns and Tandag City.

Around 138 families were transported to higher ground by elements of the 36th Infantry Battalion, he added.

Caber said evacuations took place 9:00 p.m. Saturday.

In Compostela Valley, Caber said preemptive evacuations was enforced on the landslide prone community of Barangay Cabinuangan, New Bataan town, Compostela Valley Province.

Around 37 families were taken to safer areas also on Saturday by Eastern Mindanao Command units operating in the province.

In its latest weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Signal No. 1 remains up over Surigao Del Sur, Agusan Del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Del Norte, Davao Del Sur and Compostella Valley.

As of 4:00 a.m., "Agaton" was located 230 kilometers southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur as of 4 a.m. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center. (PNA)

LAM/PFN

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