Bacolod City and Negros Occidental have raised their typhoon alert status from blue to red as areas of the province have been placed under tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) Nos. 1 and 2 due to Typhoon “Tisoy” on Monday.
Red alert is raised in anticipation of an imminent emergency situation and requires response agency staffing in the operations center and immediate inter-agency coordination.
Based on Severe Weather Bulletin No. 12 issued as of 5 p.m., Signal No. 2 has been hoisted in the northern portion of Negros Occidental, including Talisay City, Calatrava, Silay City, Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, and Toboso; while Signal No. 1 covers the rest of Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who chaired the emergency meeting of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), said Bacolod has been placed on red alert status to be prepared to protect lives and property.
“We are not in the eye of the storm but it doesn’t mean that we have to put our guards down. It’s better to be ready than be sorry,” he said.
Since late Sunday afternoon, some 250 passengers and 80 rolling cargoes have been stranded at Bredco port after the Coast Guard Station-Bacolod canceled all sea travels.
In Negros Occidental, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who chairs the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), told chairpersons of city and municipal DRRMCs in the province to place their operations centers and responders on red alert status.
Lacson advised anew the cities and municipalities to heighten their preparedness as well as take appropriate precautionary actions for possible flooding, flashfloods or landslides.
He also directed the Provincial Health Office and all district hospitals to be placed on “code white” alert, which puts all hospital staff in readiness to respond to any emergency situation or health-related incidents.
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) also activated its search and rescue (SAR) operations in anticipation of Typhoon Tisoy.
PCol. Romeo Baleros, police provincial director, said he directed the Provincial Operations Section to coordinate with the PDRRMC.
Two police officers have been assigned to the Negros Occidental Provincial Action Center for efficient coordination, he added.
Baleros said the SAR contingent will serve as augmentation to the local disaster units while city and municipal police stations will activate their respective SAR teams.
(Nanette Guadalquiver NDB VIA PNA)