Philippines

All precautions in place for ‘Ompong’: National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council

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All precautions in place for ‘Ompong’: NDRRMC
By Priam Nepomuceno

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is taking all possible precautions to ensure the safety of residents in areas lying in the path of Typhoon Ompong (international name “Mangkhut”).

In line with this, the agency is bracing for worst case scenarios, including gusty winds that could topple houses, storm surges, flooding induced by heavy rains and those caused by swollen rivers, and landslides in provinces that might be affected by “Ompong”, NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad said during Wednesday’s briefing.

“Well, worst case dun sa mga lugar na tatamaan talaga (in areas which will be hit by the typhoon), malakas na hangin makakatumba yan ng bahay na mahihina (strong winds can destroy weak houses), storm surge, malakas na ulan (heavy rains) (and) baha (flood). Dun sa medyo mataas-taas na lugar (In elevated areas, we have the threat of) landslide, so dito sa (here in) Cordillera, landslide yan although may mga pagbaha din yun dun sa malapit sa ilog (there are floods in areas near rivers),” Jalad said.

“So dito sa (here in) Ilocos region, meron din silang, malakas din naman ang hangin dun kasi pagbalik ng hangin covered pa rin sila eh, malakas na hangin sa Ilocos region. Meron ding landslide area dyan at saka pagbaha at meron ding (They also have strong winds. When the strong winds return, they are still covered. Strong winds are expected in Ilocos region. There are also landslide areas there and also floods. We also expect) storm surge,” he added.

With this development, the Department of the Interior and Local Government has released advisories for local government units to undertake preparedness actions, Jalad said.

He, however, clarified that there is still no order to conduct pre-emptive evacuations.

“Wala pa kaming nababalitaan kasi yan naman ay call ng local chief executives (We haven’t heard of any pre-emptive evacuations because that is the call of the local chief executives), so sa (ngayon) wala pa tayong nararamdaman na epekto ng bagyo na ito, so siguro magkakaroon yan kung may release tayo ng mataas na (As of now, we are not yet feeling the impact of the typhoon. We expect that once we release a) tropical cyclone warning signal and that will come siguro mga (probably about) 12 hours or before the typhoon’s (landfall),” the NDRRMC chief added.

“Ompong” entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday afternoon. It has maximum sustained winds of 205 km. per hour and gustiness of up to 255 kim. per hour, and is moving west at 20 km. per hour.

The typhoon is expected to affect parts of northern Luzon beginning Friday.

Meanwhile,

“With this coming typhoon, let us first of all resort to prayers. Prayer is our strength. Prayer is our assurance. Let us pray as one country begging God to keep us safe, protect us from calamities, and deliver us from sufferings,” Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos said in a statement.

“Also, let us be prepared with necessary things and equipment. Provide what we really need and be a brother’s keeper to one another,” he added.

The Catholic prelate asked the public to obey the orders of authorities for their safety.

On the other hand, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has activated its calamity response team.

“NASSA/Caritas Philippines has officially convened its Surge Team to 1) monitor the typhoon and provide updates to the dioceses that would be affected, 2) coordinate with the dioceses as to preparedness and possible response needs, and 3) pre-position staff and resources for possible on-ground assessment, relief procurement and distribution,” Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of NASSA/Caritas Philippines, said in a separate statement.

He noted that they are also looking at the actions to be taken by the government for them to know what action to take in helping calamity victims.

“We are also coordinating with UN-OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), DRRNet, StartNetwork and other networks for updates,” Gariguez added.

On Wednesday, “Ompong” entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

The typhoon, packing winds of up to 205 km. per hour and gustiness of up to 255 km. per hour, is expected to affect parts of Luzon beginning Thursday. (PNA)

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