A day before the expected landfall of Typhoon “Odette” on Thursday, preemptive evacuation in high-risk areas has started, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad said on Wednesday.
“There are now ongoing preemptive evacuations, per the full council report of the NDRRMC, there are now evacuations ongoing in Region 6, Region 7, in Caraga, and Region 8. There are now LGUs conducting that,” Jalad told reporters in Filipino.
“Odette” now packs maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph. It was last tracked 590 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Jalad said the regional counterparts of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) along with the LGUs are supervising the preemptive evacuations.
He also said prepositioning of relief goods from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and OCD are also ongoing.
Jalad said the number of families and individuals preemptively evacuated is not available yet.
The preparations for “Odette”, he said, have actually started on December 10, allowing them to identify the high-risk areas in Regions 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 4-B (Mimaropa), and Caraga.
Though “Odette” is not as strong as other previous typhoons, Jalad still urged people of localities, particularly in high-risk areas, to follow the LGUs calls for preemptive evacuation.
He said these apply to localities that are prone to flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain.
Once they are safely inside the evacuation centers, he said evacuees are urged to practice minimum health standards as a precaution against the Covid-19 threat.