Cordillera on red alert due to Typhoon Ramon

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2019 03:04 AM

A resident in Cordillera prepares her belongings ahead of Typhoon Ramon's landfall. Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Authorities on Monday advised residents in areas prone to landslide in flooding to evacuate as Typhoon Ramon threatened to bring heavy rains and strong winds in parts of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Some residents of Itogon town in Benguet have prepared their emergency "go bags." Their experience with Typhoon Ompong in 2018 taught them to be always ready.

Resident Loida Bag-oyen had her family’s documents, such as birth certificates, sealed in a plastic envelope. She is among families living in Sitio Garrison, Barangay Ucab marked by authorities as unsafe due to cracks found on the ground. They have yet to be relocated.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Cordillera is now on red alert status to monitor the possible effects of the typhoon in the region.

As of Monday night, tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) signal number 3 was raised over Cagayan.

Apayao, the rest of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela and Kalinga are under signal number 2 while signal number 1 is hoisted over Abra, Batanes, Benguet, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mountain Province, Pangasinan and the rest of Isabela.

“Tayo ay geographically mountainous area and then meron din po tayong napakaraming tributaries and river systems. Sa mga lokal na pamahalaan natin, palagi po nating pinapaalalahanan sila na mag-conduct ng preemptive evacuation,” said Frankie Cortez, chief of OCD Cordillera’s operations section.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said 4 families composed of 24 individuals in Kalinga have evacuated.

Apayao Gov. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang ordered agencies to implement preemptive and forced evacuation in places affected by the typhoon.

The province recently declared a state of calamity due to flooding and landslides caused by Typhoon Quiel.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also said relief packs had been pre-positioned and can be easily replenished.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual in Baguio City as vendors set up stalls for the night market along Harrison Road despite possible rainfall.

“Kailangan namin 'yong pera. Ang hirap ng buhay ngayon,” said Aliman Lawi, a garment vendor.

Lawi is a 19-year old Alternative Learning System (ALS) student who wishes to earn an elementary diploma. His family moved from Marawi City and now sells socks and other garments at the night market to make ends meet.