BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday placed Negros Occidental on “red alert” status due to Tropical Depression “Lannie”.
Lacson, chairperson of the Provincial Disaster Risk and Management Council, ordered all local chief executives and their respective city and municipal disaster councils to implement pro-active measures against possible flooding or landslides.
The Philippine Coast Guard in Western Visayas suspended all sea trips between Negros Occidental and Panay, as well trips originating from the cities of Sagay, Escalante, and San Carlos, bound for the ports of Tabuelan, Tuburan, and Toledo City in Cebu.
Coast Guard-Negros Occidental chief, Capt. Ludovico Librilla also barred all fishing vessels in the province from venturing out to sea.
The PCG reported 186 passengers and drivers were stranded, as of 6 a.m. yesterday at the BREDCO Port in Bacolod City, including 105 rolling cargoes and 11 sea vessels, because of the tropical depression.
Negros Occidental, as well as northern and central portions of Negros Oriental were among the 23 areas in the country placed yesterday by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) under Signal Number 1.
PAGASA reported that TD Lannie has a maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center, with wind gustiness at 55 kilometers per hour.
Based on the data presented by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau 6 (MGB-6), an estimated 1,111 barangays in Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental, may be affected by the typhoon.
Brig. Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte yesterday said that personnel of the303rd Infantry Brigade and its two infantry battalions are now in alert posture in preparation for Typhoon Lannie response.
Pasaporte, who is the 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said that he alerted Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) teams from the 303rd Infantry Brigade, 62nd Infantry Battalion, and 79th Infantry Battalion composed of regular soldiers to be deployed in the 1st to 5th districts of Negros Occidental and 1st district of Negros Oriental.
He also prepared their military field ambulances, military trucks, and utility vehicles to provide necessary mobility assistance.
All military personnel trained for disaster response operations are ready for deployment in the entire province, Pasaporte said, adding that they will be augmented by reservists and auxiliary units ready reserve forces if necessary.*