NDRMMC on red alert for Sokor rocket launch

January 29, 2013 11:22 pm 

By Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA, Jan. 29 — The National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) went on red alert on Tuesday after South Korea's attempt to send a satellite in space for the third time.

The NDRRMC said that Red Alert Status will be in effect as no fly Zone, no sailing, no fishing policies will be implemented in the Pacific Ocean near Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Southern Samar, Southern Leyte, Dinagat island, Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur and Siargao Island.

Government will be issuing a red alert status as concerned agencies will have to activate their respective disaster operation centers.

Based on the initial information forwarded by the Office of the Asian Affairs of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs, the launching could take place between Jan. 30 and Feb. 8 from the Naro Space Center, Go Heung, Jeollanam-do.

NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos said the rocket is expected to pass 540 kms east of the Republic of Korea Wednesday between 2:55 and 5 p.m.

While in flight, Ramos said the rocket may lose its two fuel tanks and fall into the sea with its bodies intact, may come off, break-up or disintegrate or burn into ashes.

However, Ramos gave assurances it is unlikely that parts of the rocket may hit land.

Nonetheless, he urged people on the eastern rim of the Pacific Ocean (Bicol, parts of the Eastern Visayas and Caraga) to take precaution.

"I wish to point out that South Korea's rocket launch is not hostile. Aside from this, the rocket will not be carrying any destructive or chemical payload which could harm anyone. This launch is purely for scientific exploration purposes only," he added.

Ramos said that the agency is not discounting the possibility some people may try to exploit the upcoming event to sow mischief.

He reminded the public, especially those living in Bicol, Eastern Visayas and the Surigao area, that official announcements will come from the NDRRMC.

He also said the no fly, sailing and fishing precautions which will be implemented on the above-mentioned launch dates is only meant to safeguard our people who might be near the flight-path of the rocket.

The country will again institute a "exclusion zone" 540 kms away from Bicol, Samar Leyte in Eastern Visayas, Surigao Del Norte and Surigao Del Sur once South Korea launches its new rocket, Ramos said.

He added flying, shipping, and fishing activities in the area, measuring some 600 kms by 400 kms, will be definitely prohibited during the mentioned dates. (PNA)

HBC/CLTC

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