By Ernie Reyes | InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines - Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday night appealed to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to open air traffic and to Philippine Airlines to resume flights in Tacloban Airport to ensure that those who want to leave for Manila can do so at the earliest time possible before super typhoon Ruby hits the province.
“We are appealing to DOTC to open the airport so that planes can land to ferry those who want to evacuate from the province even before the storm lashes,” Marcos said.
He also appealed to the government, particularly to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, to fully prepare for the possible onslaught of super typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) and to preposition relief and rescue materials immediately before it makes its expected landfall on Saturday in a wide portion of the country, particularly in Eastern Visayas.
Marcos and Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez have appealed to the people of Tacloban to heed all government warnings for evacuation and preparedness so that the tragedy that took place last year need not be repeated.
Already, storm Ruby has been elevated by the American Joint Typhoon Center as a super typhoon, which is expected to pack winds of 205 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 240 kph.
Though not expected to be as strong as Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 2013, Ruby is expected to be stronger than typhoon Pablo, which devastated large portions of Mindanao in December 2012.
In Tacloban, people have since Wednesday been forming long queues at grocery stores to prepare for the crippling effects of Ruby.
Churches in Tacloban that are strong enough to withstand strong gustiness are being opened up as evacuation centers. Even those in temporary government shelters are being evacuated this early. Already, hotels in Tacloban have been fully booked by residents who can afford to pay the price, while those who are still reeling from Yolanda’s devastating impact are left with nothing but to pray the rosary and the Oratio Imperata round-the-clock for the province to be spared.
“I call everyone to keep safe, prepare for exigencies, heed government warnings and pray hard that Typhoon Ruby will change its course and spare our country”.