by Nikita Espangel
At 3pm on Thursday November 29, site 2012, buy more about the different government agencies came together with NEMO to discuss the typhoon. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Tropical Storm Bopha is continuing along its path towards Palau and is expected to reach typhoon strength tomorrow.
The center of the storm is projected to pass between Ngarchelong and Kayangel at 1am late Sunday night with estimated sustained winds of 115 miles an hour and gusts up to 145 miles an hour.
Tomorrow, NEMO is planning to raise the status to condition 3, which means the typhoon will be hitting within 48 hours.
This Saturday, there will be an evacuation of the hospital. Patients who are healthy enough will be sent home, however those who need continued treatment will be relocated. The Community health center across Koror elementary school will host bed-ridden patients. The former Olbiil ra Kelulau Building across the Police Station will serve as the Emergency Room during the storm. The hospital is asking volunteers to help move patients and supplies on Saturday.
All schools in Palau will be closed tomorrow at noon to prepare them to serve as shelters for the typhoon. They will also be closed on Monday so that people may remain in these shelters, in case their homes were damaged severely.
The U.S. Embassy has issued an emergency message to all U.S. citizens here in Palau.U.S. citizens are alerted of severe weather from Tropical Storm Bopha and are urged to identify shelter in case of severe conditions, monitor local radio and media reports to be aware of weather developments.
OTV contacted the state offices of Kayangel, Peleliu, and Angaur and received the following information.
KAYANGEL RESIDENTS REFUSE TO EVACUATE
A notice has been sent to Kayangel by NEMO requesting them to evacuate the island, but sources say the residents of Kayangel refuse to do so. In Kayangel, there are 3 typhoon shelters located at the state office, the elementary school, and the hospital.Residents have been notified that if they wish to relocate to the shelters, they may start doing so Friday at 4:30pm. These shelters have their own water supply, however residents are advised to bring extra water for themselves. They have also been advised to stock up on enough food to last for three days, as well as flashlights, batteries, and candles in case the power goes out. According to Billy Graham Kemesong of the Kayangel state police, although the state has offered to transport residents out of the island on the state boats, the people on island prefer to stay in their homes or the state’s shelters. The state office says should the need arise, there are enough boats on island to transport all residents out of Kayangel.
WWII BUILDINGS FOR STORM SHELTERS
For Peleliu and Angaur, there are no plans to evacuate the people outside of their islands. For Angaur, the old age center is the only available typhoon shelter. The state boat left today to gather more supplies for the people of Angaur, and is scheduled to come back tomorrow, Friday. Peleliu however has no typhoon shelters. As a result, the people of Peleliu plan to use the old Japanese buildings built on island beforeWW2. These buildings have been maintained and preserved as historical sites, and according to the older generations, are sturdy enough to provide shelter during a storm.
POWER TO GO OUT
In Peleliu, PPUC is worried about power lines being damaged, because they don’t have any bucket trucks to assist in trimming trees, so they are advising the people of Peleliu to expect a power outage when the storm hits. According to PPUC, everyone should expect power outages and fluctuations due to strong winds. They are advising everyone to protect their electronics by using surge protectors and by unplugging all unnecessary electronics as power surges will be quite common during the storm. PPUC does not plan to shut down power in preparation for the storm. According to Public Works, they do not plan to turn off the water unless it gets contaminated or if any pipes are broken.
The government agencies are working together right to inform the public as soon as information is available.
For continuing updates on typhoon Bopha, keep watching OTV or tune into eco paradise at 87.9FM.
by Nikita Espangel