700 evacuated in Cebu City; forced evacuation may be ordered Thursday afternoon
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Over 700 individuals have already been preemptively evacuated here to avoid complications once Typhoon Odette arrives.
The typhoon, which has an international name Rai, is expected to hit Cebu City on Thursday evening, December 16, 2021.
Councilor David Tumulak, the chairperson for disaster risk reduction and management, said that 130 individuals have been evacuated in Basak Pardo and Cogon Pardo, 400 in Mambaling, and 200 in Sawang Calero.
At least 30 passengers are also stranded in the city ports.
The evacuees are placed in the different barangay gyms and public schools in their respective barangays.
The evacuation of residents focused more on coastal areas, as the city government expects storm surges and flashfloods when Odette hits Cebu.
Senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), children, and women were prioritized during the evacuation.
However, many residents still refused to leave their homes for fear of losing their properties.
Councilor Tumulak said that six hours before Odette is expected to make landfall in Cebu City, he will be recommending to the mayor to issue an order for forced evacuation.
Forced evacuation would entail all forces to be deployed to get the residents into a safer area before the storm hits.
This will involve the police and military personnel if necessary.
“Once moabot na ra ba ang bagyo, ang atong responders manago pud. And mga equipment itago pud kay delikado naman. Mao na before palang, magpaevacuate na gyod ta,” said Tumulak.
Based on the current forecast, Odette will hit mainland Cebu around 10 p.m., which means that by 4 p.m., forced evacuation should begin.
Mayor Michael Rama said that he wants all responders and law enforcement to facilitate the evacuation as early as now.
He does not want to forcibly evacuate residents, but he wants them to understand the danger they are facing.
“The military should come in, the tanods should come in. Let’s excercise prudence, we need to make them understand,” said the mayor.
The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) will also be assisting the evacuation from the sitios to the evacuation centers.
Police Colonel Josefino Ligan, the director of the CCPO, said personnel will be deployed in the evacuation sites.
Should an order for forced evacuation be released, each station is also tasked to help maintain order during the evacuation.
“All personnel in all stations are on standby. We are ready to implement forced evacuation,” said Ligan.
The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office has established 17 evacuation sites in different barangays as of 12 noon.
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