The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday announced that preparations for the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut would be the same scale as those implemented for Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
“To assess our national prepared(ness) for Typhoon Mangkhut, at base po sa guidance ni (of NDRRMC administrator) Undersecretary (Ricardo) Jalad, ang preparation natinis level ng ‘Yolanda’. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na ‘Mangkhut’ is the same magnitude as ‘Yolanda’ but well, anything could happen kasi lumalakas siya habang lumalapit siya sa Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR),” NDRRMC spokesperson Edgar Posadas said in a press briefing.
“Mangkhut” will be given the local name “Ompong” once it enters PAR on Wednesday.
“Yolanda” struck Tacloban City and its nearby provinces on Nov. 8, 2013, leaving thousands dead and causing billions in damages.
“There are already areas in Northern Luzon na makakaramdan ng medyo mas malakas-lakas than the usual na pagbayo ng hangin niya at saka pag-ulan (that will experience heavy rains and strong winds) and these are the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Norte, Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands,” Posadas said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has a stand-by fund of P1.7 billion and has prepositioned food and other relief supplies in areas that might be affected.
“Si Undersecretary Jalad wanted to give more emphasis on the search-rescue-and-retrieval, of which our Armed Forces is deeply involved, kagaya din ho ng (just like the) Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Philippine Coast Guard. ‘Yung redundancy din of our emergency telecommunications cluster, just in case na mawalan ng power or maapektuhan mga communications infrastructure natin (there will be power interruptions or our communication infrastructure will be affected),” Posadas said.
“Mangkhut”, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 170 km. per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 210 km. per hour, lashed Guam on Monday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned that the typhoon may further strengthen as it nears PAR. (PNA)