City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan called for an urgent meeting with the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) this morning to prepare for the possible onslaught of a super typhoon which is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (AOR), particularly Bicol and Eastern Visayas on November 7, 2013.

News reports coming from GMA 7’s online news site, which had the US Joint Typhoon Weather Center (JTWC) updates as its source, stated that the cycloneinternationally codenamed Haiyan may pack winds of 138.9 kph by Tuesday and 175. 94 kph by Wednesday, Manila time. It further noted that Haiyan’s winds may go as fast as 240.76 kph as of 6:00 pm of Nov. 7 or 8 before weakening to 115 knots (212.98 kph) at 6 p.m. of Nov. 8 or Nov. 9 Manila time.

It was agreed upon during the meeting that the City Hall shall serve as the Incident Command Post that will synchronize all possible calls and efforts towards relief and rescue operations during this time. Throughout the day, follow-up meetings were held simultaneously to cover various concerns and come-up with a proactive response should the super typhoon actually hit the city.

The City Planning and Development Coordinating Office (CPDC), the City Engineering Office and the Division of Catbalogan City have been instructed to work together in identifying schools

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that can be used as evacuation centers. In response to this, school administrators held a meeting of their own to prepare for the site assessment that will be conducted by said offices tomorrow, November 6, 2013.

In another meeting, City Social Welfare and Development Planning Officer Nida Aroza and City Health Officer Dr. Gerarda Tizon sat with the city’s financial management team composed of OIC-City Treasurer Elizabeth Lim, City Budget Officer Adelaida Lamadrid and City Accountant Peachy Daguman to discuss the fund availability and allocation for the purchase of food and non-food items needed for the relief operations.

ABC Federation President Edward Uy relayed the details of the morning’s meeting to his fellow chairmen and also to identify possible DRRM measures in the barangay level.

All volunteer civic groups such as REACT, KABALIKAT, ACCESS 5 and ALERT along with the City Health Office and the Philippine Army were instructed to submit an inventory of available rescue assets to gauge the extent

of the city’s capability to conduct search and rescue operations.

With the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions expected to be the most heavily affected areas when the super typhoon arrives in the country’s AOR two days from now, the CDDRMC is expected to meet once again at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Amid these developments, the city mayor wants to reassure the public that the City Government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for any possibility and create a concerted effort among civilians and stakeholders so as to lessen any possible impact of the super typhoon on the Catbaloganons.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay and Photos by Blendz Tuazon, Office of the City Mayor)

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