With the expected landfall of Typhoon Rosita on Tuesday morning, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año reminds all local chief executives of Regions 1, 2, 3 CAR, CALABARZON, V, and Metro Manila to stay in their posts before, during, and after the calamity.
“As leaders of your localities and chairpersons of your respective local disaster risk reduction and management councils, I expect you to be in your stations at the onslaught of Typhoon Rosita to personally oversee preparations and do the necessary actions to mitigate the impact of the typhoon to lives and properties,” says Año to the concerned local chief executives (LCEs).
The DILG Chief says it is imperative that the concerned LCEs are physically present in their areas so that they can “make an intelligent assessment and informed and timely decisions” on what to do during the calamity.
“During critical times such as this, time is of the essence because decisions and actions should be done immediately as the lives and livelihood of the people are at stake. Kaya kailangang nandoon mismo ang governors at mayors sa kanilang mga lokalidad,” he says.
According to the latest weather advisory, Typhoon Rosita with maximum sustained winds of up to 170 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph is anticipated to make landfall over Isabela-Aurora on Tuesday.
Tropical Cyclone Signal Warning (TCWS) No. 2 has been declared in ten areas - - Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Polillo Island, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, and Nueva Vizcaya – while 21 areas are now under TCWS No. 1.
In an advisory, Año urges the concerned LCEs to immediately start pre-emptive evacuation in the coastal barangays of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, and Aurora as well as those which are in the list of high-to-very high susceptibility to landslides and floods.
Because of the possible storm surge, he says LCEs should also restrict or ban travel or visit to all beaches along the northern and eastern coast of Cagayan and the coasts of Isabela, Aurora, and Quezon.
At the same time, fishermen and those with small seacrafts should not also be allowed to venture to sea or do any fishing activities in concerned areas and the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Tourist activities such as, but not limited to, mountaineering/hiking, spelunking, surfing, diving, etc., within their areas of jurisdiction, should likewise be prohibited during this period.
Local officials should also closely monitor all roads sections and highways with high to very high susceptibility to landslides.
“Local governments are also advised to consider early declaration of suspension of work and classes,” Año says.
Activation of Disaster Monitoring and Reporting Systems
Año has also directed the Department’s Regional Offices in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CAR, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, and National Capital Region to reactivate their respective disaster monitoring and reporting systems.
Regional Offices are also expected to ensure that LGUs within their areas are actively carrying out actions as suggested in Operation L!STO and more, if necessary, to prepare communities especially those in low-lying and/or landslide-prone areas, highways, and riverbanks, including fishermen.
“Like the LCEs, you should also closely monitor the situation in your areas of responsibility and continue to monitor all PAGASA weather advisories and typhoon bulletins until the typhoon leaves the country possibly on October 31,” he says.
Rosita is the 18th tropical cyclone that hit the country this year.