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PNP Luzon to be on full alert for Typhoon Mangkhut/Ompong

By LLANESCA T. PANTI,GMA News

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will place all of its units in Luzon on full alert by 6 a.m. of Thursday with the arrival of potential super typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut), PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said Wednesday.

“I am placing all Luzon-based PNP Units on full alert to ensure availability of resources and personnel for possible disaster response operations in areas threatened by the destructive effects of super typhoon Ompong, including other areas in Luzon that may experience torrential monsoon rains as a result,” Albayalde said in a press conference.

Likewise, the PNP chief activated the National Headquarters 1st Level Battle Staff to ensure effective command and control of all PNP disaster response operations.

Meanwhile the PNP-Special Action Force (SAF), Maritime Group, Highway Patrol Group, Police Community Relations Group, Health Service, and all regional and provincial mobile forces were also placed on full alert to ensure their rapid availability for possible disaster response and rescue operations.

“We are calling on our people in affected areas to stay safe, alert and informed, and heed the orders of authorities particularly for preemptive evacuation that may be enforced. The PNP will be there where we are needed most, and together we will weather the storm,” Albayalde said.

The PNP has also mobilized resources and personnel from these operational support, with maneuver units with disaster response capability directed to preposition within closest and safest proximity to threatened and high risk areas along coastlines, riverbanks and geohazard zones for rapid deployment in the event of contingency.

The PNP provincial, city and municipal offices and stations, for their part, were tasked to undertake road clearing operations for debris in coordination with local governments and the Department of Public Works and Highways, especially along national highways and major thoroughfares to allow unhampered movement of emergency vehicles, troops, equipment, supplies and market commodities.

Ompong is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday afternoon.

It may make landfall in Cagayan and Calayan on Saturday.

PAGASA said Ompong may generate storm surges in Cagayan and waves at least six meters high along Cagayan and the eastern and northern coastal areas, including Aparri.

It has maximum sustained winds of 205 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 255 kph as of 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Ompong is the 15th typhoon to hit the country this year. —KG, GMA News