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34,000 PNP, AFP personnel ready for Mawar rescue ops

A total of 34,000 personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are ready to conduct search, rescue, and retrieval operations for possible victims of Super Typhoon Mawar.

At a televised public briefing, PNP public information office chief Police Brigadier General Redrico Maranan said nearly 22,000 police personnel were trained for such operations.

“Naka-ready po ang almost 22,000 na personnel ng PNP. Ito po yung mga may training po sa search, rescue, and retrieval operations,” he said.

(Almost 22,000 PNP personnel are ready. These personnel were trained for search, rescue, and retrieval operations.)

Around 18,000 kinds of equipment and 2,000 land and sea assets for mobility were also on standby to be used for the rescue operations, according to Maranan.

Maranan said the PNP’s disaster incident management task group has been activated to address the possible threat of the super typhoon to the public.

The PNP started coordinating with concerned agencies to discuss disaster responses, he added.

In a statement, the AFP said more than 12,000 personnel would be deployed to respond to the possible victims of the super typhoon.

“Over 12,000 personnel including reservists are alerted as first responders,” it said.

More than 2,800 land transportation, air, and water assets would be deployed for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, it added.

Vehicles and personnel that could assist in the evacuation of residents in concerned areas were deployed, the AFP said.

Air and naval assets were also on standby for deployment for future aerial assessment, transport, and evacuation operations.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday delivered 850 boxes of relief goods to Basco, Batanes via PAF-C130 aircraft intended for possible victims of Mawar, the Northern Luzon Command said.

A box of relief goods includes food, water, and other items essential for survival during the impending natural disaster, it added.

Mawar slightly intensified late Friday morning as it moved westward over the Philippine Sea, state weather bureau PAGASA said in an 11 a.m. advisory.

PAGASA said Mawar had maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour near the center, gustiness of up to 260 kph, and central pressure of 905 hPa. Mawar’s strong to typhoon-force winds extended outwards up to 550 kms from the center.

The super typhoon is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday night or early Saturday morning. Once inside the PAR, Mawar will be called Betty.

PAGASA said wind signals would be raised by Saturday evening. — DVM/VBL, GMA Integrated News