Provincial government declares ‘Red Alert,’ class cancellations announced
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
In response to anticipated arrival of Tropical Depression Samuel, acting Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson raised the alert status from “Blue” to “Red,” which indicates emergency personnel and disaster risk reduction agencies must be on duty to monitor the storm and its effects.
All local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices were instructed to heighten preparedness efforts, take precautionary actions on the expected rains, have first responders on standby, and conduct any necessary preemptive evacuations.
Meanwhile, several local government units across the province suspended classes yesterday.
Bago City, Himamaylan City, La Castellana, San Carlos City, Toboso, Victorias City, and Cadiz City suspended classes for preschool and elementary students, while Bacolod City suspended preschool classes.
Based on a weather bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration at 4:00 p.m. yesterday, the storm was last spotted 250 kilometers east Maasin City, Southern Leyte and moving west northwest at 20 kilometers per hour (kph).
The storm is currently maintaining wind speeds of 55 kph, with gusts up to 65 kph.
Samuel is expected to make landfall multiple times, with the sixth being in San Carlos City this afternoon if the storm maintains it present course and speed./DGB, WDJ