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Philippines braces for super typhoon Mawar

Several government agencies have started preparations as a super typhoon over the Pacific Ocean could enter the country’s area of responsibility later this week.

In a statement, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered its regional directors to keep its coordination with their Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils.

The DILG also called on all local government units (LGUs) to prepare for super typhoon Mawar, which will be called Betty once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

PAGASA announced the super typhoon category of Mawar as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.

LGUs especially in areas prone to hazards should always monitor advisories and bulletins on weather, typhoons, thunderstorms, rainfall, and flood, the DILG said.

They were also directed to use the application HazardHunterPH to generate indicative hazard assessment reports on their respective areas.

Local DRRMCs should hold pre-disaster risk assessments for floods, flash floods, rain-induced landslides, debris flow, and strong winds, the DILG said.

Communities must also be always informed and advised of situation updates and preparations, it added.

Areas with signs of hazards should be vigilantly monitored, according to the DILG.

Waterways like canals and drainages should be cleared while dams should be ensured stable, the DILG said.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. expressed hope for a zero-casualty incidents across the country due to these proactive and preventive measures.

“We need to brace ourselves and get ready to avoid casualties and other damages expected to be brought about by this potential weather disturbance,” Abalos said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) also prepared deployable response groups (DRGs) and Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in Cordillera and Ilocos regions in light of the expected typhoon.

PCG officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Rolando Lizor Punzalan Jr. ordered district commanders to ready Coast Guard stations and substations especially in northern Luzon where the typhoon is expected to hit.

Also, the PCG is now imposing stricter inspection of boats, vessels, and other seacraft to ensure their safety.

Crew and fisherfolk are reminded to monitor updates on weather to avoid maritime accidents.

PCG’s search and rescue (SAR) assets have been prepositioned for easy deployment in case of possible flooding in affected areas.

PCG Auxiliary (PCGA) is preparing relief supplies and family packs that would be distributed to evacuation centers.

Punzalan advised residents who will be affected by the typhoon to follow authorities if they are asked to evacuate.

On Monday, the Department of Health also advised Filipinos to prepare for Mawar, encouraging them to contact local disaster and emergency risk teams for assistance in case of emergency.

It also advised the public to prepare an emergency go bag that includes ready-to-eat food, clothes, first aid kit, tools, sleeping bags, and COVID-19 protection kit, among others.

“In anticipation of the progress of this Tropical Storm, the DOH advises the public to prepare and report any untoward incident that may later be related to this weather disturbance,” the agency said.

Mawar is expected to enter PAR on Friday or Saturday.—LDF, GMA Integrated News