DAGUPAN CITY – The city government remained on high alert this weekend a day after Typhoon “Ompong” battered the city and most parts of Pangasinan with strong winds and heavy rains when it crossed Northern Luzon.

At least 2,503 families or 10,098 individuals were moved to designated evacuation centers  in Dagupan City before “Ompong” could make landfall in Baggao, Cagayan

This was made possible with the help of private individuals and organizations who opened their establishments and homes to the evacuees fleeing  the wrath of the typhoon,.

These establishments include PHINMA-University of Pangasinan, a registered Privately Hosted Evacaution Center (PHEC) in the city, which accommodated evacuees from Barangay Pantal.

Lyceum-Northwestern University also provided relief goods to at least 96 families or 362 individuals staying at the Dagupan City National High School.

Preemptive and forced evacuation were undertaken by the local government and PNP Dagupan to ensure that Dagupenos living in critical and low-lying areas were safe from either storm surge and flash floods.

“We urge all Dagupenos to listen to their local authorities. Ang buhay natin ay iisa, at kailangan tayo ng mga pamilya natin,” said Mayor Belen T. Fernandez.

Earlier this week, the city doubled its preparation for the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year when Mayor  Fernandez met all barangay captains and local and coastal authorities with the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) and the city’s Quick Response Team (QRT) to discuss safety measures to be undertaken when the typhoon strikes.,

Mayor Fernandez, together with her QRT team and P/Supt. Jandale Sulit of PNP Dagupan, personally visited all designated evacuation centers to ensure that they were fully equipped with the necessities needed by the evacuees.

Meanwhile, the two to three storey school buildings put up by the city government, in partnership with then Congresswoman Gina de Venecia and now by Congressman Christopher de Venecia, served their purpose when they were used as temporary evacuation centers during the onslaught of ”Ompong”.

Construction  of multi-storey school buildings not only helped conserve space but also sheltered evacuees from storm surges and flash floods.

Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and the city’s QRT  are now continuously monitoring the situation preparatory to assessing the damages left by “Ompong”. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)