Close to 2k residents in Cebu province evacuated as #OdettePH to cross Central Visayas tonight, Dec. 16
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Close to 2,000 individuals from various towns and cities in Cebu province have already been evacuated hours before Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) is expected to hit Central Visayas.
Based on initial data from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), a total of 1,863 individuals from 13 localities have been transferred to safer areas as of Thursday morning, December 16.
These included those from Aloguinsan, Pilar, Santa Fe, Sogod, Sibonga, and Tudela. PDRRMO is still verifying the rest of the data as of Thursday.
Most of them were residing in coastal villages, which are exposed to deadly storm surges.
In Santa Fe, at least 66 families residing near the coasts of Hilantagaan Island were evacuated last Wednesday, December 15 to safer areas.
The local government of Tudela in Camotes Island, also evacuated 62 families from Barangay Poblacion-Seaside on Wednesday evening.
Work in both government and private offices in Cebu province has also been suspended in anticipation of Odette’s arrival.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Thursday, December 16 ordered the suspension of work in the Capitol which will last until Friday, December 17.
However, Garcia ordered the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Provincial Engineering Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) to maintain manpower enough for disaster response.
Work suspension were also declared in the towns of Alcoy, Dalaguete, Minglanilla, Madridejos, San Remigio, Tuburan, Danao, Santa Fe, Bantayan, Asturias, Cordova, Borbon, Consolacion, and Bogo City.
The central and southern portions of Cebu, including Metro Cebu, remain under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 3, according to the 11 a.m. severe weather bulletin from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
The rest of Cebu, on the other hand, is under TCWS No. 2.
Destructive and damaging wind, with speeds reaching up to 170 kilometers per hour, is expected to prevail in areas under Storm Signals No. 2 and 3.
In addition to canceled sea voyages, more flights at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) were grounded due to threats of Typhoon Odette.
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), in its latest advisory, reported 29 more flights bound to and from Cebu were canceled.
Pagasa estimated that Odette will be making landfall between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday within the vicinity of Siargao-Bucas Grande Islands or Dinagat Islands.
They have also hoisted TCWS No. 4 in several areas in Visayas and Mindanao, including the areas mentioned where the typhoon will make its first landfall.
Those under TCWS No. 4 included Southern Leyte, and the eastern portion Bohol (Talibon, Trinidad, San Miguel, Dagohoy, Pilar, Sierra Bullones, Jagna, Garcia Hernandez, Duero, Guindulman, Anda, Candijay, Alicia, Mabini, Ubay, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, Bien Unido) in the Visayas, and Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands in Mindanao.
Pagasa also maintained their earlier forecasts that Odette may hit Central Visayas this evening. More specifically, around 8 p.m. within the vicinity of Ubay town in Bohol.
Odette continues to gain more strength before reaching Eastern Mindanao.
Its strength has increased from 160 kilometers per hour (kph) to 185 kph in a span of roughly four hours. Its gustiness has reached 230 kph.
Odette was spotted 175 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte as of 10 a.m. on Thursday, moving at a west-northwestward direction at a speed of 25 kph.
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