QUEZON CITY, April 2 -- The national government has declared its readiness in the coming typhoon, expected to hit the country this weekend.
National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC) chair Undersecretary Alexander Pama, in a media briefing on Friday, said, members of the Pre Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) has made assessments on the ground to help government in its preparations and response actions.
Local Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Councils in Bicol and Samar with their teams have been activated since Thursday following advisories from Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. The DILG heads the Preparedness Cluster of the NDRRMC.
DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero said LGUs in Northern Luzon, the Eastern Seaboard and Central Luzon are already making preparations.
“The PNP Operations Center has been activated and disaster teams are prepositioning the necessary equipment and personnel to assist local government units and the public,” he said.
The Philippine Coast Guard has also issued advisories on ports for those will be travelling bysea.
The regional offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which heads the Response Cluster, have been coordinating with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Councils (RDRRMC) on augmentation support to local government nits. Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera reported that they have already prepositioned food and non-food items for LGUs.
Moreover, DSWD offices in nearby regions which will not be affected by the typhoon can provide support to affected regions, she said.
Undersecretary Pama said the government will continuously issue advisories as he called on the public, particularly those who have travelled to the provinces to be hit by the typhoon, to monitor these advisories and coordinate with the local government office on necessary protocols.
Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, for his part, asked those travelling to “make necessary adjustments, especially when the typhoon makes landfall this weekend.”
As of 11 pm update of PAGASA, Typhoon Chedeng with the international name "Maysak" has already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and was located at 1,015 km East Northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It has maximum sustained winds of 180 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph. It is forecast to move West Northwest at 19 kph.
Typhoon Chedeng is estimated to make landfall over eastern coast of Aurora, Quezon or Isabela by late Saturday (April 4) to early Sunday (April 5).
PAGASA is expected to raise Public Storm Warning Signal #1 over Bicol and Samar Provinces within the next 18 hours.
The public is alerted against possible flashfloods over low-lying areas and landslides along mountain slopes, particularly over Aurora-Quezon area.
Storm surges and sea surface waves of up to 4 meters are possible over the eastern coast of Samar, Bicol and Aurora-Quezon.
Fisherfolks are advised not to venture out over the eastern seaboard of Bicol Region and of Visayas. (Carlo P. Canares)