The Department of Education has suspended classes on Wednesday, as the province braced for the onslaught of tropical storm Basyang through southern Palawan.
A memorandum issued by the DepEd at 5:54 pm Tuesday suspended classes in both private and public schools in the province. Included in the memo is the prohibition of practices or rehearsals by schools.
Sonny Pajarilla, Palawan DOST- PAGASA head, said Basyang is predicted to hit the area between Brooke’s Point and Aborlan with top winds at 65 kph at around 4 pm Wednesday.
He added they might raise the storm signal to No. 2 as soon as Basyang enters the Palawan area.
“Yan ang i-expect natin bukas na maaari ng maging signal No. 2. But kung manatili siyang tropical depression di ‘yan magiging signal no. 2.,” Pajarilla said.
In Puerto Princesa City, Mayor Lucilo Bayron placed the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and the City Health Office (CHO) on emergency alert.
Presiding a meeting of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC), Bayron stressed that need to provide immediate support to potential evacuees.
He asked the CSWDO and CHO to prioritize evacuation centers that have a high number of children, women, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.
“CSWDO, kapag may evacuation [na], pagkain [ibigay na agad]. City Health, kung may evacuation, check agad ang kalusugan. Kasi mahirap mangyari na mayroong mamatay doon sa evacuation centers kahit ano pa ang rason niyan, kahit kasalanan nila, lalabas na kasalanan natin,” he said.
He also instructed the CSWDO to coordinate with the National DRRMC on evacuations.
“[Noong] nakaraang bagyo, mayroon tayong pinagbabasehang number ng mga nasa evacuation centers. Ngayon i-anticipate na at idagdag na ang mga kailangan natin,” Bayron, 3said.
Bayron said the city will deploy additional manpower to help the evacuees if needed.
City Information Officer Richard Ligad added that barangay chairmen are expected to be in the frontline of the situation when Basyang finally makes a landfall in the province.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Management Office said for its part they have prepared food packs and water supplies for immediate deployment in the hard-hit area.
“Ongoing ang repacking natin and I believe na ongoing pa rin ‘yong pag-account ng mga munisipyo na napadalhan na natin noong panahon pa ni Agaton. And we are still repacking 4, 500 food packs,” Cruzalde Ablaña said.