BALER, AURORA – Residents of high-risk areas in Baler are being pre-emptively evacuated in preparation for the coming Typhoon Ompong. The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRM) ordered for the evacuation on Thursday.
The precaution is being taken to prevent any possible casualties or human cost, says Mayor and MDRRM chairperson Nelianto Bihasa. Bihasa also said that the directive may mean forcing some residents to evacuate if they are unwilling or refuse to leave.
“Evacuees already have a designated place to stay in,” he said.
Residents of coastal areas in Baler, such as Barangay Silang are to be evacuated, as well as those residing in the landslide prone area of Sitio Duguisit in Barangay Zabali. The evacuation also extends to guests staying at inns or hotels in these areas, especially those in rooms near the coast because of dangers from possible storm surge.
All tourism activities in the town have been suspended, including water sports and recreation. Mountain adventures are also placed on hold. The suspension is effective from September 14 to 16.
Similar measures have been taken to protect the community’s children and workforce. Classes in all levels public and private schools have been suspended, as well as all work in government offices with the exception of offices directly involved in disaster risk mitigation and response. The suspension is until Friday.
Municipal government heads have been instructed to continue with a skeletal workforce in their offices.
“Prepositioning of heavy equipment of Baler LGU (local government unit) and relief goods were done,” said MDRRMO head Gabriel Llave.
Typhoon Ompong entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility yesterday.