The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Tuesday that its station in Aklan rescued two fishermen amid the onslaught of tropical depression “Lannie,” even as the Philippine National Police ordered its commanders to prepare their respective disaster response teams in areas threatened and affected by the bad weather.

Vincent Cunihar and Sonny Tayco were rescued by PCG personnel from a distressed motor banca amid strong winds and big waves in the waters between Sta. Fe, Romblon and Nabas, Aklan.

The PCG said the motor banca left Barangay Colong-Colong, Ibajay, Aklan, at around 4 a.m. on Sunday for a fishing venture into the waters of Sibuyan Sea.

As it sailed home on Sunday, the watercraft encountered engine trouble that caused it to drift toward the vicinity waters between Sta. Fe, Romblon and Nabas, Aklan.

The PCG Station Aklan immediately deployed its search and rescue (SAR) team upon receiving the distress call from the two fishermen.

PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar directed commanders at police regional offices in Western Visayas and Mimaropa to prepare their respective disaster response teams in anticipation of the effects of Lannie.

The PNP is at the frontline of disaster preparedness and response, with policemen being tapped in the conduct of preemptive evacuation, search and rescue and distribution of relief goods to the affected population.

According to the state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Lannie is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over Western Visayas and Mimaropa, while light to moderate, at times, heavy rains is expected in Calabarzon, Bicol region and Mindanao.

PAGASA said Lannie is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday.

Eleazar appealed to the public to follow instructions of law enforcers and local chief executives to ensure their safety amid the weather disturbance.

“I would like to remind the public to immediately heed the advice of your respective localities should they require preemptive evacuation because this is for your own safety.  In the event of the establishment of evacuation centers, our police personnel should continue to strictly enforce minimum public health standards among evacuees to curb the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

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