EXPERTS warned that another super-typhoon could hit the Philippines on Thursday even as Tropical Depression “Wilma,” which dissipated into a low-pressure area in the Central Visayas, threatened to re-intensify into a storm.
Weather forecaster Gladys Saludes of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the United States military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii spotted Tropical Storm “Haiyan” over the Caroline Islands on Tuesday.
Saludes said the storm was moving toward the country with maximum winds of 115 kph and gusts of up to 146 kph and will be named “Yolanda” when it enters Philippine jurisdiction. It is expected to make landfall in the Eastern Visayas region on Thursday morning .
Also on Tuesday, the LPA that was formerly called “Wilma” was already 250 km west northwest of Puerto Princesa City near the boundary of PAR at 4 p.m. and is expected re-intensify into a storm as it moves toward Vietnam.
Even after the departure of Wilma, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council will remain on red alert because of Yolanda and various local governments have issued their own alert notices.
In the Eastern Visayas, regional disaster council chairman Rey Gozon directed all local government officials to take necessary measures to prevent or minimize the destruction of life and property.
In Tacloban City, disaster official Isabelo Lagutan said they have already identified several evacuation centers in the city with the primary one located at the Tacloban Astrodome.
In nearby Albay, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda also ordered cities, towns and villages to prepare and undertake “preemptive evacuations.”
“Now is the time to prepare. We ask the various disaster risk reduction and management offices from cities, towns and barangays to start reviewing their response strategies to the impact of floods, flashfloods, landslides, storm surges and strong winds on exposed households and critical resources,” Salceda said.
The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office has called up emergency meetings with the local disaster agencies and the ‘preemptive evacuation” may be ordered soon.
Salceda said households near riverbanks, lahar and mountain slopes should start preparing their evacuation kits and familiarize thelselves with their evacuation routes and evacuation camps.
The governor noted that since newly elected barangay officials have yet begin their term on Nov. 30, incumbent baranagay officials should collaborate with their successors for the sake of their zero casualty goal. With Frank Tuyay and Ronald Reyes