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Evacuation, distribution of food packs start amid Typhoon Betty —DSWD

Thousands of individuals have started congregating in evacuation centers, while the distribution of family food packs continues amid Typhoon Betty, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Monday.

DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said that around one million families in Region 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6, 7, Cordillera Administrative Region, and the National Capital Region are expected to be vulnerable to inclement weather due to Betty and the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat).

“‘Yung mahihirap talaga sa mga area na ‘to at pinaka-susceptible ay nasa 127,000 families. Ang kagandahan lang nito, nasa 679,000 ‘yung ating family food packs na naka-preposition sa mga area na ‘yan,” he said in an interview on GMA Integrated News’ Unang Balita.

(The poor and most susceptible people in these areas are composed of 127,000 families. The only good thing here is that there are 679,000 family food packs already prepositioned in those areas.)

In the Ilocos Region, particularly in La Union and Ilocos Sur, he said 21,000 family food packs were handed out. In Batanes, 850 food packs were distributed. 

There were also 3,659 individuals in Negros Occidental and 1,000 to 2,000 more in Luzon provinces who were transferred to evacuation centers because of the threat of Betty. 

As of 5 a.m. on Monday, PAGASA said the following areas were placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 2 as Betty slightly accelerated over the waters east of Cagayan:

  • Batanes,
  • the eastern portion of Babuyan Islands (Babuyan Is., Camiguin Is., Didicas Is., Pamuktan Is.), and
  • the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana)

TCWS No. 1, meanwhile, was hoisted in these areas:

  • The rest of Babuyan Islands,
  • the rest of mainland Cagayan,
  • Isabela, Quirino,
  • the northeastern portion of Nueva Vizcaya (Kasibu, Quezon, Solano, Bagabag, Diadi, Villaverde, Bayombong, Ambaguio),
  • Apayao,
  • Abra,
  • Kalinga,
  • Mountain Province,
  • Ifugao,
  • Ilocos Norte,
  • the northern and central portions of Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran, Dinalungan, Dipaculao, Baler),
  • Polillo Islands,
  • the northern portion of Catanduanes (Caramoran, Viga, Gigmoto, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, Pandan),
  • the northeastern portion of Camarines Sur (Caramoan, Garchitorena, Lagonoy, Tinambac, Siruma), and
  • the northern portion of Camarines Norte (Vinzons, Paracale, Jose Panganiban, Capalonga, Talisay, Daet, Mercedes, Basud)

Betty, a former super typhoon with an international name of Mawar, is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday.  —KBK, GMA Integrated News