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Gov’t aims for zero casualty as ‘Yolanda’ nears PH

The government has set a zero casualty target as it braces for the entry of super typhoon Yolanda in the country.

President Benigno S. Aquino III has placed concerned government agencies on “heightened alert” to ready contingency measures and prevent the loss of life on the onslaught of the strong typhoon.

“In anticipation of the entry of super typhoon Yolanda in the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday, President Aquino has directed Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), to mobilize all provincial and municipal disaster risk reduction and management councils to prepare the people and protect them from danger,” Presidential Communication Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in Filipino.

Coloma also asked the help of the media to spread information about disaster relief preparations for storm Haiyan, which will be named Yolanda once it enters the country’s territory.

“This is part of president’s directive to achieve a zero casualty target in this calamity,” he added.

The state weather agency has announced that the super typhoon will arrive on Thursday morning and may affect Visayas and parts of Luzon and Mindanao this week.

Coloma said rescue boats and emergency relief and medical supplies have been prepositioned in strategic areas.

“All concerned government agencies are on heightened alert to ensure swift response to affected residents, especially those in low-lying and flood prone areas,” he said.

Coloma added that the president will keep a “hands-on” role in government efforts in preparation for the storm.

He likewise called for prayers for the safety of the Filipino nation as the typhoon moves closer to the country.