Cebu City heightens storm alert as TS Vinta nears Visayas
AS Cebu City Hall prepares for expected strong winds and heavy rains as tropical storm Vinta made landfall, other agencies are also asked to stay on alert and do their part to mitigate the effects of the storm.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, head of the City Council’s committee on public order and safety, said he met with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cebu City District Engineer Jose Gauran yesterday to prepare for possible emergencies.
“We reminded them to ready their emergency response team. We asked them to put on standby their tree cutters and their heavy equipment,” Tumulak said.
Although Vinta will not directly hit Cebu, weather forecasts show that it is expected to bring in strong winds and heavy rains.
This is why it is important to start trimming big trees especially those located along roads and near power lines,Tumulak said.
The DPWH assured that their emergency response team will be activated by Friday morning and that they will be in constant coordination with the city government.
Aside from trees, outdoor billboards also pose a hazard during storms.
Tumulak said he also talked with Jeremy Huang, president of Cebu outdoor advertising agencies and asked them to roll down their billboards.
“They have started rolling down their billboards this (yesterday) afternoon,” he said.
He added that he also talked with Cebu Contractors Association president Pete Dakay to caution managers and workers in all ongoing construction sites in the city to be on alert as Vinta moves near the Visayas.
At the same time, Tumulak asked Dakay to inform all their member contractors with ongoing construction projects to keep their cranes on freewheel. This way, the crane will just rotate if it is blown by strong winds.
If it is grounded, the crane could collapse or topple down when hit with strong winds.
The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) is already on standby as well as the emergency response team of the Cebu City Police Office, according to Tumulak who is also the deputy mayor on police matters.
Meanwhile, Tumulak said he is yet to meet with officials from the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) and the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) to also be on standby during the storm.
He said he will ask VECO to also activate their emergency teams to respond to possible power lines that may be affected by debris and other objects, and for them to keep coordinating with the city’s command control center.
As for MCWD, he said he will ask them to keep their power generators on standby in case of power interruptions that may affect water pumps, to ensure that there will be no water service interruptions.
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