TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines-The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Eastern Visayas has advised local government units (LGUs) in the region to convene as part of their calamity response and preparedness protocol in preparation for tropical storm ‘Yolanda’ that is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR)Thursday morning.

Local government operations officer Adrian Thomas Colasito said that the protocol includes mobilization of their local disaster risk reduction management council and activation of auxiliary command centers and prepare to man it 24-hour basis.

Further, they should also activate their early flood warning systems. For those with none, they have to be proactive and it is important that “they evacuate before the storm hits,” he said.

Moreover, before the storm makes its landfall, they have to deploy their disaster and emergency response teams.

Also included in the protocol is the activation of evacuation centers, deployment of trade personnel in these centers and ensuring that basic needs/necessities are there.

Lastly, they have to conduct pre-emptive evacuation when necessary.

Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) acting regional director Rey M. Gozon, in an emergency meeting held Tuesday afternoon, also requested that LGUs be advised to submit “actions taken in preparation to tropical storm Yolanda.”

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) Tacloban chief Mario Peñaranda during the briefing said that the tropical storm will most likely hit the entire region because of its wide diameter of 900 kilometers.

He added that bad weather condition maybe experienced probably Thursday evening or morning of Friday as soon as the weather disturbance enters the PAR morning of Nov 7.

While all weather agencies have similar forecast that Eastern Visayas will be affected, fortunately the disturbance is moving fast such that it is expected to be out by Saturday morning, he said.

“I asked everybody to join in the dissemination of this information,” he urged.

Gozon, following the information relative to the movement of ‘Yolanda’ internationally codenamed Haiyan added that aside from the reactivation of LDRRMCs, LGUs should revisit their contingency plans for flooding and landslide.

He also ordered the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to be on alert status in case there are landslides or any incidents that need their immediate response.

Fishermen are advised not to go out into the sea once the tropical storm enters the PAR while residents of low-lying areas are advised to prepare for possible flooding while those in landslide prone areas are urged to have pre-emptive evacuation.

The public is also encouraged to have with them their transistor radio for monitoring purposes.

The OCD and members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) will convene November 7 for another updating. (PNA)