Albay braces for ‘complex’ disaster scenario with typhoon ‘Ambo’ approaching


LEGAZPI CITY – The province of Albay is preparing for possible flooding and landslide in low-lying and mountainous areas due to the Tropical Depression (TD) Ambo, while undertaking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in evacuation centers, the Albay Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said on Tuesday.

Cedric Daep, Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) chief and PDRRMO executive officer, said the province would be facing a “complex disaster” situation.

“One is the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the approaching Tropical Depression Ambo and once it intensifies, it could break into a tropical storm,” he said in an interview.

Daep said TD Ambo is expected to hover over Albay and bring moderate to heavy rains by Thursday.

“With this kind of weather disturbance, the province would initiate evacuation following two protocols – one for the Covid, another for disaster,” he said.

Daep said following the Covid-19 protocols, they would put up a separate room for families with elderlies and children aged 19 and below as well as an isolation area for people with health concerns.

Designated Covid-19 quarantine facilities, he said, would not be used as evacuation centers.

Daep said the PDRRMO also advised families that need to be evacuated to stay with relatives whose houses are sturdy and are Covid-19 free.

He said evacuation procedures would depend on the bulletin that the local weather bureau would issue.

“Once it raises the alert status to Signal 3, evacuation begins,” he added.

Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara is expected to soon preside over an emergency meeting to draw up disaster scenarios for TD Ambo. (PNA)