MANILA, Philippines –The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday all its units remain on “red alert” as all attached agencies are being mobilized with the expected landfall in Cagayan of typhoon “Lawin” on Thursday.
NDRRMC executive director Ricardo Jalad in a press briefing said the Operations Center has been on this status since the arrival of “Karen” last Saturday, and will remain in such alert level until “Lawin” has left the country’s territory by October 22.
Representatives of the attached agencies of the NDRRMC present in the pre-disaster risk assessment meeting include the Department of National Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, PAGASA, Mines and Geoscience Bureau, Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Interior and Local Government.
Typhoon “Lawin” is expected to turn into a super typhoon and will batter Regions I, II, III and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).
As this develops, DSWD Director III Carlos Padolina, in an interview with the PNA, said they have already forwarded 10,000 food packs in La Trinidad, Benguet; another 13, 400 in Apayao, another 6,800 food packs and 3,000 bottles of water in Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
These items will augment relief goods presently stockpiled in the said provinces, he added.
As this develops, the DSWD official said they are still caring for 6,201 families or 23,450 individuals in various evacuations centers in Regions I, II III, CALABARZON, and V.
These numbers include earlier evacuees from Typhoon “Karen” and those evacuating pre-emptively for “Lawin.”
He added that it would be better for them to remain in the evacuation centers until “Lawin” leaves the Philippines.
Relatedly, the DSWD announced that it has PHP1.2 billion worth of pre-positioned stocks nationwide which can be utilized to help people that might be displaced by “Lawin.”
Meanwhile, the DILG instructed local government units in Regions I, II, III and CAR to maintain alert status and disaster monitoring system.
Meanwhile, PAGASA official Dr. Esperanza Cayanan, in the same briefing, said that there is a huge possibility that “Lawin” could get stronger while still at sea.
She said that they are estimating that the typhoon could hit the 220 kilometer per hour mark warranting its classification as a Tropical Cyclone with Warning Signal Number 4.
Cayanan said “Lawin’s” diameter, or area to be affected is now 650 kilometers or 150 kilometers larger than “Yolanda” which is only 500 kilometers.
She added that they will be coming up with a storm surge warning for coastal towns in Northern Luzon once they have a clearer information on “Lawin’s” strength and position. PNA/TNF