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Cebu News

Super typhoon may hit Luzon: Cebu prepares for Chedeng

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - There is no Holy Week holiday for key personnel at the Capitol and at the Cebu City Hall because of super typhoon Maysak, which is predicted to make landfall in Luzon over the weekend.

Maysak was last located 1,280 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar with maximum winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 250 kph yesterday and was expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility last night or this morning.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration estimated that the super typhoon, which would be called Chedeng once it reaches the PAR, would likely make landfall over the Isabela-Aurora area this Saturday or Sunday.

The weather bureau may also raise storm signals in eastern sections of southern Luzon and parts of eastern Visayas by Thursday.

Anticipating this, personnel of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and other frontline teams of the Capitol will be on standby as they gear up for the looming weather disturbance.

PDDRMO Chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III ordered that they prepare for the super typhoon.

“The governor is emphasizing that all department heads should be prepared. Magbantay gyod ang mga departments, like sa health and engineering,” he said.

City Councilor David Tumulak, on the other hand, said the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council went on an Alpha alert status, or the minimum critical preparation of the disaster response team, for any untoward incident as a result of the super typhoon.

Tumulak, who is also the CCDRRMC chairman, said they have pre-positioned all communication, heavy, and medical equipment in strategic locations of the city; put all disaster and clearing operation teams on standby; and monitored weather advisories as initial steps in their disaster preparedness protocol.

He said barangay disaster teams have also been activated to respond to any untoward incidents that would happen because of the super typhoon.

Tumulak said concerned agencies would likely also advise fishermen to avoid going out to sea and for sea vessels from traveling, as he urged the public to be ready at all times even when it is unsure yet that the typhoon would affect Cebu.

“Andam gyod ta og pagkaon, tambal, water, batteries, flashlights kay uban rabang mga tindahan close na for the Holy Week,” he said, adding that the public should watch out for weather updates so they get real-time information.

 “Bisan di moigo sa ato unya covered ta sa uwan, di gyod gihapon ta mokompiyansa,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tribunalo said that for better disaster management in Cebu, there should be more disaster responders in the entire province.

 “We really need people who are committed,” he said, adding that local government units are already mandated to have their own DRRMOs.

He said DRRMOs should be formed not only for disaster and emergency response, but more importantly to prepare each locality for calamities like typhoons, the El Niño and the La Niña phenomena, and other effects of climate change.

In a conference with DRRMO representatives and volunteer rescuers yesterday, Tribunalo said that aside from augmenting personnel, LGUs should strengthen their respective DRRMOs by sharing ideas and best practices.

 “We have already started. Hopefully by the governor’s second term, we can further extend and reach the barangay level,” Tribunalo said.

He assured the local DRRMO personnel and volunteer rescuers that the PDRRMO would provide trainings and workshops to further their knowledge on risk reduction and disaster management so that they would be better equipped in responding to calamities and other emergencies.—/RHM (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ATILDE CEBU CEBU CITY DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL CEBU CITY HALL CEBU GOVERNOR HILARIO DAVIDE CHIEF BALTAZAR TRIBUNALO JR. CITY COUNCILOR DAVID TUMULAK DISASTER HOLY WEEK TRIBUNALO
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