CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cities in Cebu Province are taking no chances on severe Tropical Storm Odette (international name: Rai) which is expected to pass Cebu by Friday, December 17.
The State Weather Bureau raised Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #1 at 35 locations in central and northern Cebu on Wednesday morning, December 15.
The thunderstorm signal covers Daanbantayan, Medellin, city of Bogo, San Remigio, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, city of Danao, Compostela, Liloan, Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, City of Carcar, Pinamungahan, San Fernando, City of Toledo, City of Naga, Balamban, Minglanilla, Cebu Ccity, City of Talisay, Consolation, Mandaue City, Lapu–Lapu City, Cordoba and the islands of Camotes and Bantayan.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia also issued a memorandum on Dec. 14 calling on all local government units (LGUs) to take necessary precautions and preparations for Odette.
Garcia authorized LGUs to suspend work to give their constituents more time to prepare for the impending storm.
As of December 14, evacuation centers were activated and tourist destinations were closed in localities in both the north and south of the province.
The towns of Badian and Alegria in southwestern Cebu have ordered the temporary closure of all tourist destinations and tourist establishments.
The town of Bantayan on Bantayan Island has also started preparing more than 1,000 relief kits for those who will be evacuated.
Bantayan Island is located about 140 kilometers northwest of Cebu City.
The cities of Talisay and Toledo have begun monitoring their coastal villages and mountain barangays for threats from storm surges and landslides.
Several LGUs have also postponed their ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign as a precautionary measure.
Odette entered the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday evening 14th December.
According to the latest severe weather report from the Philippine Geophysical and Atmospheric Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) released at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Odette has further intensified and is approaching the Typhoon category.
Odette is currently packing winds with speeds of 110 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gusts up to 135 km/h. He was spotted 735 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Pagasa predicted that the storm would first affect areas around Caraga or the Eastern Visayas region on Thursday afternoon or evening, December 16.
“Thereafter, the center of Odette will continue to track generally westward and pass through several provinces in the Central and Western Visayas regions before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning or afternoon,” they said. they added.
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