Physical distancing a challenge in Catanduanes town ahead of 'Bising'


Posted at Apr 20 2021 08:38 AM | Updated as of Apr 20 2021 08:58 AM

Physical distancing a challenge in Catanduanes town ahead of 'Bising' 1
Rescue workers assist residents as they evacuate to safer grounds in preparation for the possible effects of Typhoon Bising in Virac, Catanduanes on Sunday. Photo courtesy of MDRRMO Virac

MANILA - The town of Virac in Catanduanes is having difficulty enforcing physical distancing in its evacuation centers after Super Typhoon Rolly destroyed its shelters last year, its mayor said Tuesday.

Some 2,602 families or 9,372 individuals in Virac have fled from Typhoon Bising's heavy rainfall and strong winds as of Monday, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

"Talagang kung minsan di na rin namin mapatupad ang social distancing sa mga evacuation centers although binibigyan namin ng face mask atsaka 'yung may mga sipon pinipilit namin maisolate sa isang room po," Mayor Sinforoso Sarmiento told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Sometimes we can't enforce social distancing in evacuation centers although we give residents face masks and we isolate those who have colds in one room.)

The town of Virac has sought funding for typhoon-proof shelters from national government, he added.

The province has 24 active COVID-19 infections out of its total 322 cases as of Monday, according to the Department of Health.

It has been placed under storm signal no. 2, which may tilt some wooden and old electric posts, said state weather bureau PAGASA.

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In Northern Samar, some 12,100 individuals or 2,800 families have evacuated, according to Governor Edwin Ongchuan. The province has 16 active COVID-19 cases, he said.

"Medyo kalakasan po ang bagyo pero medyo daplis lang ang pagtama. Medyo malakas pa rin ang ulan at hangin," he said.

(The storm is somewhat strong but the damage was not severe. The rainfall and winds remain strong.)

Power has been restored in some parts of the province, he added.

Bising, the country's second storm this year, was last estimated 505 kilometers east of Infanta town, Quezon as of 4 a.m., PAGASA said. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 175 km per hour near the center and gusts of up to 215 kph.

The weather disturbance is forecast to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday.

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