MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino on Monday urged people in areas that will be hit by typhoon Pablo to start evacuating ahead of the storm's expected landfall Tuesday.
Aquino said people should not place undue burden on search and rescue units that could be overwhelmed when the typhoon hits.
He said the typhoon's strength should be taken seriously and told the public to heed warnings issued by authorities that are implementing preemptive evacuation.
"Kaya po nating mabawasan ang pinsala na pwedeng idulot nito at kawalan ng buhay kung tayo po ay magtutulungan at makikisama sa isa't isa. Huwag na natin pahirapan ang ating mga search and rescue teams at ating mga LGUs [local government units]," the President said.
"Kapag nagpayo na lumikas sa mga tinatawag na danger areas, sumunod na tayo at huwag maghintay ng pangatlo, pang-apat o panlimang bisita pa nila bago tayo lumagay sa mas secure na lugar," Aquino added.
He assured that government agencies are raedy in response to the typhoon.
He said search and rescue vehicles of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police are ready for deployment.
Aquino added that the Philippine Coast Guard is barring ships from sailing in areas where the typhoon will hit.
Relief goods have been prepared by the social welfare department while the public works department has sent heavy equipment to affected communities. - report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News