Odette prompts activation of NDRRMC response cluster

Odette prompts activation of NDRRMC response cluster
Photo release shows units in the Philippine Coast Guard Station Masbate awaiting the possible impact of Typhoon Odette in their area of ??responsibility.
Release / Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has activated its response cluster to mitigate the effects of now-Typhoon Odette which is expected to hit land over Caraga-Eastern Visayas by Thursday afternoon or evening. 

"Odette intensified into a typhoon at 8 a.m. today. Further intensification is expected today through tomorrow as the typhoon crosses the Philippine Sea and may reach a peak intensity of 155 km/h prior to making landfall tomorrow afternoon," Pagasa said in its bulletin Wednesday morning. 

At a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, Office of Civil Defense Administrator Ricardo Jalad said that the NDRRMC's operation centers have been raised to red alert, which means that all disaster officials in the region are required to report to their headquarters 24/7.

It also activated its CHARLIE Protocol, signifying the highest emergency preparedness and response level to a high-risk situation that requires immediate action. This was hoisted in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, and Caraga.  

"It won't reach supertyphoon level, but it will reach Typhoon Signal No. 3 or 4," Jalad said of Odette. 

According to the OCD, its activated response cluster assets include: 

  • P331,898,067.49 in standby resources in Mimaropa and Regions VI, VII, VIII, X, XII, XII, Caraga
  • 33 deployable emergency telecommunications assets from the Department of Information Communication and Technology 
  • 3,175 search and rescue teams, 558 land assets, 281 sea assets, 8 air assets from coast guard, military, fire protection bureau and MMDA 
  • 66 land assets, 245 sea assets, 39 air assets for logistics 

Asked how evacuation centers can enforce and implement minimum public health standards amid the pandemic, Jalad said that local government units should take charge in the "actual management" to ensure social distancing is observed. 

"They should only allow enough occupants inside so it doesn't get crowded," he said in Filipino. 

READ: LGUs directed: Implement typhoon preparedness measures as rainy season starts

Coast Guard on standby for relief

In its latest update, the Philippine Coast Guard said it has monitored a total of 1,606 passengers, drivers, and cargo helpers; 879 rolling cargoes to go with 13 vessels and 2 motorbancas that are reportedly stranded in the Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and North Eastern regions.

This, while 161 vessels and 52 motorbancas are classified as "taking shelter" as a precautionary measure against the possible threat of the typhoon.

The PCG said it started mounting efforts for possible evacuations, rescue operations, and the delivery of relief as Odette enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

Units in the Caraga and Western Visayas regions were directed to immediately activate their deployable response groups and quick response teams, and inspect available search and rescue assets and equipment.

"All PCG vessels that are 'ready for sail' are tasked to take shelter today. Station and Sub-station Commanders in the affected areas are now preparing for the issuance of appropriate maritime safety advisories to fishermen, ship crew, and other maritime stakeholders within the day," it said in a statement. 

"Units in areas not directly affected by Odette are tasked to work with the PCG Auxiliary in repacking relief packages to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to communities that will be affected."

RELATED: Disaster risk reduction must be localized amid reliance on foreign aid — study

DOTr facilities ready

According to the OCD in Bicol, more than 1,000 passengers were marooned Wednesday morning with 700 trucks, cars, and trailers at the Maharlika Highway in Matnog and Pilar in Sorsogon.

As a result of the typhoon, the Department of Transportation said it also ordered its agencies and facilities to prepare for the typhoon, it said in a statement sent to media Wednesday afternoon.

Airports under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines have activated their weather emergency standby protocols, including boarding up glass windows and doors and reinforcing installations and equipment. 

Per the DOTr, the Land Transportation Office has ordered the suspension of land travel to the Visayas and Mindanao effective Thursday evening upon the request of the Office of Civil Defense in the Bicol Region.

It also ordered the suspension of land travel to Catanduanes and Masbate effective Tuesday morning to prevent the congestion of vehicles along the Maharlika Highway and the Port of Matnog in Sorsogon, and other ports in the region. 

The order suspending land travel to the affected areas will remain until the Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal is lifted.

The CAAP disclosed it is "assessing the possibility of suspending air traffic operations in areas expected to be affected by Typhoon Odette."

The Philippine Ports Authority said its ports are still open but sea voyages are suspended in the areas affected by Typhoon Odette based on the PCG’s advisory. — Franco Luna

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 5, 2022 - 10:42am

PAGASA says severe tropical storm Rai entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility at around 7 p.m. Tuesday. It was assigned the local name Odette.

January 5, 2022 - 10:42am

Telco giant Globe has completed network service repairs in municipalities of Anda, Dauis, Loon and Panglao in Bohol, San Fernando in Cebu, and Baybay, Albuera in Leyte, and Limasawa in Southern Leyte.

Services in Mindanao's Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte have also been restored as of January 4.

Globe says it has equipped local government units affected by Super Typhoon Odette with an M360 platform, used to send SMS updates to their offices and constituencies. "Palawan, Southern Leyte, and Cebu municipalities Naga, Cordova and the city of Mandaue, were among the first to avail of this free service," the telco says in a release.

January 5, 2022 - 10:39am

Network coverage has been restored in 98% of areas with PLDT and Smart coverage in Bacolod.

The telco group says in a release that network services have been restored in 90% of Visayas cities and municipalities affected by Super Typhoon Odette.

Earlier, PLDT-Smart reported the full restoration of services in Antique, Iloilo, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Western Samar.

January 4, 2022 - 2:44pm

The Technical Education and Skils Development Authority in the Cordillera is sending 19 trainers to Bohol, one of the provinces that was hit hard by Super Typhoon Odette last December.

The trainers will help in the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the province by giving skills training to Boholanons.

TESDA Cordillera, along with the TESDA  in the Ilocos region, will be giving free training,  particularly on construction-related courses.  The training will help in the rebuilding homes and other structures destroyed by the strongest typhoon that visited the country since Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The trainers are from the Provincial Training Centers of TESDA Kalinga, TESDA Mountain Province, TESDA Abra, TESDA Apayao, and TESDA Ifugao.  There are four trainers for Electrical Installation and Maintenance, nine trainers for Carpentry, and six trainers  for Masonry. — The STAR/Artemio Dumlao

December 28, 2021 - 1:39pm

The Department of the Interior and Local Government and other regional goverment offices in SOCCSKSARGEN has sent relief supplies for typhoon-stricken areas in the Caraga Region.

The supplies were transported in a 24-vehicle convoy that included dump trucks.

The humanitarian mission is a joint initiative of the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Regional Task Force on COVID-19.

The convoy on Tuesday follows an initial shipment of relief supplies to the Caraga Region that the DILG regional office initiated.

The provisions — clothings, food rations and hygiene kits — were received by DILG personnel in the Caraga region. — The STAR/John Unson

December 28, 2021 - 10:03am

Total agriculture damage from Typhoon Odette is at P5.79 billion and counting, Agriculture Secretary William Dar says.

More than 70,000 hectares of agricultural land were affected.

Meanwhile, more than 506,000 houses were damaged by the super typhoon and may reach up to 600,000, Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario says.

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