TACLOBAN CITY- Interior and Local Government secretary Mar Roxas and Department of National Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin arrived here Thursday afternoon to monitor the  pre-disaster preparation of  the different disaster councils in Eastern visayas region.
The regional disaster risk reduction council (RDRRMC) has set up its command center at the PNP headquarter in Camp Ruperto Kangleon, Palo, Leyte for a well-coordinated  action in response to the expected arrival of  typhoon “Yolanda” on Friday.

The command center also holds a media center for the updates of the RDRRMC with Philippine Information Agency regional director Olive Tiu and Office of the Civil Defense regional director Rey Gozon manning it.

“…A map of Eastern Visayas with dots pointing to deployment of troops has been mounted. This will make it easier to know the nearest rescuers are in case an LGU calls for help,” informed Tiu on the updates inside the command center.

Tiu added that while evacuation is ongoing in the region, initial report on number of evacuees in various centers all over the region as of 4:00 p.m. on Thursday has reached 849 families or 3, 093 individuals.
On the number of stranded passengers and vehicles in the region, Tiu  informed that as of Thursday afternoon, Benit port in San Ricardo, So. Leyte has 80 passengers, 16 vehicles; Liloan port has 121 passengers, 9 vehicles; Balwarteco port in Allen, Northern Samar has 386 passengers, 75 trucks, 4 buses, 4 cars; and Dapdap Port in Allen has 191 passengers, 20 trucks, 2 buses, 2 cars.

In Tacloban, as of 4:00 a.m. Thursday, around 544 families, 2,448 individuals from 15 coastal barangays have already been evacuated at the Tacloban Astrodome.

“As of Wednesday evening, many of the hotels in Tacloban are already fully booked, not because of visitors but because of residents who would rather go to hotels where they will be safer, ” added Tiu in a statement.

In Samar, the National Food Authority in the province reported it has a stock of 96,000 bags of rice for the whole Samar.

DSWD in the region has also reported that food packs have been prepositioned in all the six provinces and municipalities in the region.
Tiu added that DSWD will have repacking of foodpacks and relief goods round the clock.
In Southern Leyte, the provincial Engineering office has already stationed heavy equipment in Maasin, Sogod, Liloan, and Saint Bernard, ready to act on contingencies 24/7 for the expected landfall.

The provincial health services office has also assigned two teams to address any medical problem during the typhoon.

Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said “everything is already on place” in terms of their disaster preparedness and response in the province.

 “As usual, we are doing our best to take care of our people in this kind of situation. We have already implemented pre-emptive evacuation, while our relief and rescue teams are also in positioned. Also, we continue to pray that everyone will be safe,” Mercado told Manila Channel.