Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez during a meeting with department heads in preparation for typhoon Chedeng (Maysak). Photo courtesy of Tacloban LGU
Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez during a meeting with department heads in preparation for typhoon Chedeng (Maysak). Photo courtesy of Tacloban LGU

By Ronald O. Reyes

TACLOBAN CITY, April 2, (PNA)– Mayor Alfred Romualdez of this typhoon-weary city convened on Wednesday the city disaster risk reduction management council (CDRRMC) with village leaders and businessmen for preemptive measures against typhoon Chedeng.

Romualdez emphasized that residents should stay away from danger zones while monitoring continuously the typhoon’s path.

“You should be rescuing people not you being rescued,” Romualdez told the council.

“Super typhoons are unpredictable. Communication is very important, thus make sure everybody knows especially the children,” Romualdez said, noting that Tacloban is different after what it went through brought by storm surge during the super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013 which claimed over 6,000 lives.

“Angle of approach is very important for us to know. Let us be self-sufficient and self-reliant,” he said.

“No more rescuing and mobilization during the height of the typhoon. Everyone should be on safe places,” he said.

The mayor reminded that relief packs will be distributed on the third day after the typhoon so residents would be self reliant during the first two days.

As of Wednesday evening, the city has positioned its command center at the city hall lobby with its satellite phones and radios readied using one and the same frequency.

Evacuation centers which will include schools, universities, churches and Astrodome center among others.

Police are also setting-up checkpoints from San Juanico bridge, Diit, and Marasbaras.

The city DILG is tasked on the management of dead bodies, while the Bureau of Fire Protections are on the retrieval.

According to Brando Bernadas, CDRRM office head, the city school board has allocated PHP30,000 for every school used as evacuation center for the repair, while 17 gymnasiums in the city are to be modified fit for evacuation centers.

“We cannot control the calamity, we can only manage,” he said.

Bernadas added that vulnerable groups of evacuees—pregnant woman, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and children–will be given more priority to occupy the rooms in the evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, mall supermarkets in the city like Gaisano, SM Save More will continue to open on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, while Robinsons is from 8 a.m to 7 p.m., and then they will be closed on Friday and will resume its operation on Saturday and Sunday.

“Tell the people not to bring many things in the evacuation centers like cabinets and appliances. Only provisions good for three to five days. And don’t bring anything not yours from the evacuation centers upon leaving the areas,” city police director Dominador Say Cabillan told village officials.

Evacuation centers identified in Tacloban are Leyte National High School, Leyte Normal University, Liceo Del Verbo Divino (LVD), San Jose National High School, Marasbaras Elementary and national high school, San Fernando Elementary School, Eastern Visayas State University.

Sagkahan elementary and national high school, V and G elementary school, Astrodome center, Redemptorist and Sto Nino church, Anibong elementary school, Leyte Progressive, Abucay Bus Terminal, Bayanihan elementary school, Naga-Naga cockpit arena, Mormons churches in Fatima, Burgos street and Nula-Tula, among others.

Hotlines at the Tacloban city command center are: 053-321-5114; 0926-822-2402 (Globe); 0920-715-6005 (Smart); +88-216-5117-8028 (Satellite phone); 0917-631-7752 (Tacloban City Police Office); and 0917-624-0238 (Bureau of Fire Protection).(Philippine News Agency)

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