AN EMERGENCY response preparedness meeting was held Wednesday evening, Dec. 20, with regional disaster risk reduction officials of Mindanao to prepare for tropical storm Vinta (international name: Tembin), which has intensified further as of 5 p.m. yesterday afternoon.
Romina M. Marasigan, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), in a live-streamed briefing yesterday morning from Quezon City, said response teams have been mobilized to prepare for preemptive evacuation in areas that are at high risk of floods and landslides.
Ms. Romina appealed to the public to be on alert and cooperate with evacuation protocols.
“Siguraduhin po na makiisa sa panawagan ng lokal na pamahalaan (Make sure that you cooperate in the call of your local governments),” she said.
She also stressed that aside from parts of Mindanao, several areas in Visayas are also expected to be affected by Vinta.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Vinta’s center was located about 200 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, and was expected to make landfall within the Caraga and Davao regions by evening or Friday morning, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
The weather bureau said the storm, with maximum sustained winds of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 110 kph, is likely to either sustain its strength or intensify.
Vinta is forecast to sweep through the southern part of the Philippines until the weekend and exit by Monday, Dec. 25.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) canceled all trips in all ports in Surigao del Sur and the northern part of Davao Oriental, while the Cebu Port Authority put at least 17 trips on hold yesterday.
As of 12 noon Thursday, the PCG said there were 1,128 passengers stranded, 51 rolling cargoes, 12 vessels, and 7 motorized bancas. — Mindanao Bureau