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DSWD, Cagayan ready for Tropical Storm Karding

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Cagayan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) on Saturday said they are ready for the possible onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Karding (international name: Noru).

The DSWD said it has stand-by and quick response funds ready, and food packs have been prepositioned in Northern Luzon.

Cagayan meanwhile, is on red alert, the PDRRMO said.

"Talagang kami po, nakatutok sa Bagyong Karding. 'Yung atin pong pondo when it comes to disaster response ay medyo mataas-taas pa naman po, nasa P1M halos pa po ito," DSWD Assistant Secretary Rommel Lopez said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

"Ang ating quick response fund kung 'yan po ay mauubos, puwede tayong humingi ng augmentation uli lagi para po dito sa ating pondo, sa DBM [Department of Budget and Management])," he added.

Lopez said the DSWD's stand-by fund is at P600 million, while the quick response fund is around half a billion pesos.

As for food packs, these were made ready, he added.

"Ine-ensure natin na pine-preposition po natin sa ating mga kababayan at sa Northern Luzon," Lopez said, adding that the fund for such is at P542.9 million.

The province of Cagayan has made its own preparations as well, especially with regards to rescue assets and relief goods, Cagayan PDRRMO acting head Ruelie Rapsing said.

"'Yung ating mga rescue assets, 'yung mga vehicles, at 'yung mga floating assets sinisuguro natin na serviceable," he said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

"'Yung ating mga personnel, naka-ready na. In fact red alert na tayo ang status ngayon," 

Rapsing said the PDRRMO will have a pre-disaster risk assessment on Saturday to determine where the rescue personnel will be deployed.

As for preemptive evacuation, he said it would depend on the local executives.

Rapsing also said that based on the latest track, Karding may affect the southern part of Cagayan, particularly Tuguegarao City and the towns of Peñablanca, Enrile, Solana, Piat, and Tuao.

Relief goods have already been stockpiled at warehouses ready for distribution, he added.

As of 10 a.m. Saturday, the center of Karding was located at 660 km east southeast of Tuguegarao City, PAGASA said in its weather bulletin.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 has been raised over the southeastern part of Isabela, the northern portion of Aurora, and Pollilo Islands.

TCWS No. 1 meanwhile has been raised over the southern part of Cagayan and other areas. —KG, GMA News