Filtered By: Topstories

OCD: Preps for Betty continue; relief goods, response teams readied

Various government agencies are continuing their preparations on Saturday in anticipation of the effects of Super Typhoon Betty (international name: Mawar), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said.

"Tuloy-tuloy ang ating preparasyon. Bago pa pumasok ang bagyong Betty, nakahanda na tayo... From prepositioning ng relief goods, paghahanda ng response teams, ito po ay nakahanda na," OCD information officer Diego Mariano said in an interview on Dobol B TV on Saturday.

(Our preparations continue. Even before Super Typhoon Betty entered [the Philippine Area of Responsibility], we were already prepared. From prepositioning of relief goods to readying of response teams, these were already done.)

Super Typhoon Mawar entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 2 a.m. on Saturday, PAGASA reported. It has been renamed Betty since then.

As of 4 a.m., the center of the eye of Super Typhoon Betty was estimated at 1,320 kilometers east of Central Luzon packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour, gustiness of up to 240 km/h and moving west northwestward at 25 km/h.

No tropical cyclone wind signals have been raised so far.

More than 12,000 personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been readied for search, rescue, and retrieval, Mariano said.

"Sa ating mga kawani sa search, rescue and retrieval cluster, mayroon na tayong mahigit 12,000 personnel na naka-ready... Ito ay sa AFP... From PNP, BFP, PCG, mayroon silang naka-standby na personnel," he said.

(For our search, rescue and retrieval cluster, we have more than 12,000 personnel ready. These are from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. From the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, they have standby personnel.)

Most of the personnel are already in areas expected to be affected by the super typhoon, the OCD official said.

Classes scheduled for Saturday, May 27, in some areas have been canceled as part of the precautionary measures in light of the Betty.

Food packs, budget

Mariano said standby funds and food packs have been prepared for those who may be affected by Betty.

"Mayroon tayong naka-standby na pondo at food packs para sa mga kababayan nating maaaring maapektuhan... Mayroon tayong almost 800,000 family food packs na naka-preposition... Mayroon din tayong mga naka-preposition na non-food items," he said.

(We have standby funds and food packs for our countrymen who may be affected [by Betty]. We have almost 800,000 family food packs that were already prepositioned [in identified areas]. There are also non-food items prepositioned.)

Meanwhile, Mariano said there are enough equipment for clearing and rescue operations.

Satellite phones were also readies for communication, he added.

The Philippine Coast Guard and local disaster risk reduction and management offices continue to monitor the situation in coastlines and disseminate information to residents and fishermen, Mariano said.

"We always aim for zero casualty," he said, adding that preemptive evacuation is to be decided on by local government units. —KG, GMA Integrated News