Preemptive evacuation ordered in 17 towns, 2 cities in Surigao Sur

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/05 December)—Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel has instructed officials of 17 towns and two cities to conduct preemptive evacuations, especially along coastal villages, as precaution to super typhoon Ruby’s (international name Hagupit) landfall, an official said.

“After the governor’s order yesterday morning, we started mobilizing our teams and started preemptive evacuations in the different island barangays, and today (Friday) in all the coastal communities especially those facing the Pacific,” said Adel de Guzman, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

In its 5 a.m. advisory on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration placed Surigao del Sur under Storm Warning Signal 2.

De Guzman said they are closely coordinating with the municipal emergency response units as part of their preparations.

The provincial government, the local government units and key government line agencies are closely monitoring the situation, the official said.

De Guzman said the municipal mayors would have the prerogative on the evacuation protocols.

Liza Mazo, regional director RDRRMC-Caraga, said that preemptive evacuations have been implemented in several barangays (villages) in the coastal towns of Cagwait and Bayabas as of 9 p.m. Thursday.

“There were 50 families evacuated in the town of Bayabas and 41 families in the town of Cagwait. We are still trying to monitor other towns on their planned actions,” said Mazo.

1st Lt. Al Anthony Pueblas, Civil Military Operations officer of the 36th Infantry Battalion (IB) based in Tandag City, said that soldiers have been mobilized in close coordination with the local disaster councils, in response to the order from higher headquarters.

Lt. Col. Anastacio Suaybaguio, 36th IB commander, has allocated resources for the mobilization of the troops, Pueblas said.

“Right now we have one platoon of soldiers who recently graduated from the water search and rescue training, and this team will be divided into two to be assigned in Tandag town and in the town of Tago,” said Pueblas.

Pueblas said they allocated four military trucks to be used in the evacuation and mobilization of resources.