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Disaster council alerts public for ‘Helen’

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), Region 2, warned residents particularly in Batanes and the Calayan Group of Island as storm Signal No. 1 has been raised in these areas due to typhoon’ Helen.
Romeo Ganal, weather forecaster of the PAGASA North Luzon Bureau, said based on their forecast track, ‘Helen’ is not expected to make landfall in the country however, it may affect the northernmost part of the country, including Batanes province which was heavily devastated by Typhoon Ferdie recently. Ronald Villa of the Office of the Civil Defense said all local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMs) in Batanes and Cagayan are now on alert status in preparation for the storm. Villa also urged all local government units to implement precautionary measures and initiate preemptive evacuation of families in low-lying areas and mountainous areas if the situation warrants.
Meanwhile, Romel Gamiao of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said their recovery and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of typhoon ‘Ferdie’ in Batanes will continue even if ‘Helen’ has entered the country. Gamiao said DSWD has enough stock pile of food packs including water and 5,000 sacks of rice stores at the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Batanes in preparation for ‘Helen’. Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, on the other hand, declared suspension of classes in all levels, both in private and public schools, in Calayan Group of Islands and Fuga Island in Aparri due to ‘Helen’. The ‘no sail’ policy has been effected in this province since yesterday.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.