BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday raised to “red” the alert status of all Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management operation centers in Negros Occidental, due to Super Typhoon Karding (Noru).
Flights and sea vessel trips from Bacolod to Manila, and vice versa, were also suspended yesterday because of Karding.
The Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council of Negros Occidental, in its issued Special Tropical Cyclone Advisory, reported that the province is not directly affected by Super Typhoon Karding, however, classes in all levels in private and public schools in Hinobaan, Sipalay, Cauayan, Candoni, Binalbagan, Isabela, Moises Padilla, EB Magalona and the cities of Kabankalan, Ilog and Himamaylan have been for September 26.
Mayor Gina Montilla-Lizares also ordered the suspension of classes from kindergarten to Grade 12, as well as Alternative Learning System, in Sipalay City starting today.
Lizares disclosed that Sipalay City is also experiencing moderate to heavy rains.
Hinobaan Mayor Daph Anthony Reliquias, in his issued executive order number 32, declared the cancellation of classes in Hinobaan today, noting that bad weather conditions, severe rainfall and strong winds are prevailing in Hinobaan.
Flashfloods reportedly hit the low-lying areas of barangays Caliling and Inayawan in Cauayan, which were blamed on non-stop rains due to the southwest monsoon.
Furthermore, EB Magalona has suspended work in government offices until further notice.
The Philippine Air Lines also cancelled four flights – PR 2135/ PR 2136/ PR 2137/ PR 2138 – Manila-Bacolod-Manila, on Sept. 25. At the same time, Cebu Pacific flight Manila-Bacolod (5J-477) was also temporarily suspended yesterday.
In his issued travel advisory, Commander Joe Luviz Mercurio, Coast Guard Station Northern Negros Occidental, said that all trips of vessels enroute to Batangas and Manila via BREDCO Port in Bacolod City have been suspended, effective Sept. 25.
On the other hand, the Regional Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council 6 raised its alert status to Red, due to Super Typhoon Karding and the Southwest Monsoon that is affecting Western Visayas, including Negros Occidental.
The Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council of Negros Occidental issued a Special Tropical Cyclone Advisory urging Negrenses to be vigilant of isolated rain showers and thunderstorms.
PDRRMC also advised various DRRMO councils to heighten their preparedness, such as initiating proactive measures and taking precautionary actions for possible flooding, review of contingency plans and conduct pre-emptive or mandatory evacuation, if necessary.
On the other hand, the RDRRMC VI Emergency Operations Center also said that Charlie Protocol, or the highest Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) protocol, was activated in Negros Occidental, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo and Guimaras, areas classified as high risk/susceptible to landslides and flooding, based on the data of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) VI.
It also advised the public to remain vigilant and monitor weather updates, and encouraged preemptive evacuation, as needed, especially in low lying areas and those at high risk of landslides.*