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OCD asks public to help spot community hazards ahead of Typhoon Mawar

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) on Thursday called on the public to help determine the hazards in their respective communities before Typhoon Mawar affects the country.

In a public briefing, OCD Joint Information Center head Diego Agustin Mariano explained that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has a website called “HazardHunterPH” which enables users to assess how likely they to be affected by floods, landslides, and storm surges, and find out what they can do about it.

“Kung kaya po, maging maalam tayo dito sa ating kapaligiran. Dapat alamin natin ano ang mga hazards na nandito o present sa tinitirhan natin, dito sa pinapasukan natin,” Mariano said.

(If possible, let's be cautious of our environment. We must know what the hazards are or are present in where we live or where we go.)

He also encouraged people to evacuate when needed or when the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has alerted them to.

On Wednesday, OCD said preemptive evacuations are expected to be imposed in the coastal towns of Batanes and some parts of Cagayan as Mawar gets closer to the country.

For the part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), it said it has alerted all search, rescue, and retrieval units for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in areas expected to be affected by Mawar.

“[V]ehicles and personnel are already being prepared to assist in the mandatory evacuation of residents in vulnerable areas. Air and naval assets are also on standby for deployment for future aerial assessment, transport, and evacuation operations,” AFP said in a statement.

A total of 7,970 AFP personnel, 4,242 Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) active auxiliary members, and 180 reservists were alerted as first responders.

AFP is also set to deploy 2,518 land transportation assets, 20 air assets, and 265 water assets for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

State weather bureau PAGASA announced early Thursday morning that Typhoon Mawar has re-intensified into super typhoon category.

Mawar, which is moving west northwest, is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday evening or early Saturday morning. It will be called Betty once it enters PAR.—LDF, GMA Integrated News