Forced evacuation in CAR as storm nears
“We will strictly implement forced evacuation with the local governments, we have learned our lesson,” regional OCD director Ruben Carandang said yesterday.

Forced evacuation in CAR as storm nears

Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2018 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Philippines — The regional Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) vowed to implement forced evacuation measures in the event of heavy rainfall brought by a new storm coming today.

“We will strictly implement forced evacuation with the local governments, we have learned our lesson,” regional OCD director Ruben Carandang said yesterday.

This developed as more than a dozen families took the initiative to evacuate following a threat of landslide in Balbalan, Kalinga yesterday.

Cordillera regional police director Chief Supt. Rolando Nana said around 15 families voluntarily evacuated after cracks were seen in the mountain slopes of Sitio Posa in Poblacion, Balbalan. The town proper is located just below the slopes of the mountain.

Carandang, on the other hand, said his jurisdiction is still under red alert status even after Typhoon Ompong has left the country.
Being the regional chairman of the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Carandang said he can take over the functions of local officials in their absence to implement forced evacuation in the area. 
Carandang said they are monitoring the weather bulletin and advisories before implementing safety measures.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the tropical depression spotted east of Southern Luzon has intensified into a tropical storm and was given the international name Trami.

The storm is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility today and will be named Paeng, PAGASA said.

PAGASA warned Paeng may intensify into a typhoon and may affect extreme Northern Luzon with heavy rains and gusty winds.

Paeng comes a week after Ompong (Mangkhut) roared across Northern Luzon, leaving at least 95 people dead and scores still missing.

Most of the fatalities and missing came from the mountainous regions in Northern Luzon, including Itogon, Benguet that saw heavy deluge of rain brought by Ompong.

Despite the grim scenario in Itogon, Carandang expressed hopes there would be survivors from the mine shelter buried by the landslide last Sept. 15.

He said some residents are claiming there are several chambers in the mine in which some of the survivors could have possibly taken refuge.

Presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, the “point man” designated by President Duterte during the typhoon, shared the same hope.

Tolentino said for as long as good weather permits, he will allow the undertaking of rescue operations in the area round the clock until all victims have been accounted for.

Tolentino said he will change the rescue operations to retrieval if no sign of life is seen after the main tunnel has been searched.

The regional OCD trimmed down the number of rescuers from 700 to 30 following threats of another landslide in Barangay Ucab brought by expected rains.

Officials said an additional 10 bodies have been pulled from the rubble in Barangay Ucab, bringing the death toll to 41 as of yesterday afternoon. – With Rhodina Villanueva

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