BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Local government units in Negros Occidental have been ordered by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to implement pre-emptive evacuation of persons and families in flood- prone areas as the province braces for the impact of Super Typhoon Odette.
Negros Island has been placed last night under Signal Number 4 as reported by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Work in government and private offices, as well as classes were suspended by several Negros Occidental LGUs, due to Typhoon Odette.
Typhoon Odette, located 265 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, is experiencing a “rapid intensification” as it packs maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, with gustiness of up to 185 kph, Pagasa said.
“Everyone is prepared,” Lacson, who also chairs the Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council, said.
Frontliners assigned in hospital should remain at their workplaces, Lacson said, because their services are needed.
In his issued advisory, he advised all mayors to take pro-active measures in anticipation of the super typhoon.
Lacson disclosed that Typhoon Odette is expected to hit Negros Occidental Thursday afternoon or early Friday morning.
Regional offices of national government agencies have also assured immediate assistance in case we need it, he added.
“We appeal to all Negrenses to pray that Odette will cause minimal damages,” Lacson, who ordered the suspension of work at the Provincial Capitol building 2 p.m. Thursday until December 17, said.
He added that the provincial government aims to have zero human and livestock casualty.
The suspension of work and classes in all levels in San Carlos City, Escalante City, Sagay City, Cadiz City, EB Magalona, Silay City, Bacolod City, Murcia, Bago City, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City, Kabankalan City and Candoni, effective December 16-17, have been ordered by their respective local chief executives.*