Pre-emptive evacuation of residents in high-risk areas ordered in Baler

BALER, Aurora — The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) ordered Saturday the pre-emptive evacuation of residents living in high-risk and low lying areas here as a precautionary measure against Typhoon Karen.

MDRRMO chief Gabriel Llave, in a cellphone interview, said the move was made to avoid casualty in this town.

Llave called on the public to follow the pre-emptive evacuation order to be implemented Saturday afternoon.

To be evacuated will be those living near the beaches of barangays Zabali, Sabang, Buhangin and Reserva, and residents of the low-lying areas of Sitio Setan, Barangay Calabuanan; Sitio Gabgab, Barangay Buhangin; Sitio Tirong, Barangay Obligacion; and Sitio Dipakpak, Barangay Reserva.

He said guests staying in seaside hotels and inns will be included in the evacuation due to possible storm surge.

The MDRRMO further advised fishermen not to go out to sea.

“Starting 1 p.m. today (Saturday), town Mayor Nelianto C. Bihasa will declare no outdoor activities along the beaches as Typhoon Karen continues to gain strength,” Llave said.

Llave further reminded the public to observe the color-coding scheme that indicates the gravity of a calamity.

He explained that every pole is painted up to six-feet from the base.

The first two ft. from the pole’s base is painted yellow; the next two ft. green; and the next two ft. red.

If floodwaters are at the yellow level, every family must prepare for possible evacuation, he said, noting that if the water is at the green level, everyone should seek higher grounds; and if the floodwater is at the red level, residents must flee to evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, public announcements are being made in three local radio stations, he added.

Llave said concerned government agencies and stakeholders have been monitoring the situation in all barangays (villages), including roads and bridges in Barangay Obligacion and a portion of the provincial road from Sitio Curva, Suklayin to Sitio Setan, Calabuanan at the portion of the national road between Pudoc Bridge and Aguang Bridge in Barangay Buhangin. Jason de Asis/