Ompong a possible super typhoon
A POSSIBLE super typhoon is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility today, which will be called Typhoon Ompong.
Alfredo Quiblat Jr., Chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in Mactan, said the possiblity that Ompong will develop into a super typhoon has increased as its maximum sustained winds has reached 180 kph with gustiness of 225 kph as of Tuesday afternoon.
“It still falls within the category of typhoon kay wala pa man naabot iyang hangin og 220 kph,” Quiblat said.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has alerted all local disaster management offices to brace for the possible effects of the typhoon.
Although the chance for the typhoon to traverse the Visayas is remote, Quiblat urged the public to keep watch of possible landslides due to the rain that may be brought by the typhoon’s trough.
PDRRMO chief, Baltazar Tribunalo, said they are closely monitoring landslide and flood prone areas in the province.
He said they also coordinated with the Department of Public Works and Highways and private quarry operators for the deployment of heavy equipment in case of landslides or uprooted trees.
The Department of Health (DOH) in the region has also declared a white alert status for all their health facilities. Dr. Shelbay Blanco, DOH-7 medical officer, a white alert means no employees will be allowed to take a leave.
“Code white, means there should be skeletal forces (installed) in all health facilities,” he added.
He also urged hospitals to preposition their ambulances for possible deployment.
Quiblat said Ompong may also enhance the southwest monsoon (Habagat) which in turn, may result to 40 to 50 kph of wind in the Visayas on Thursday.
Quiblat added that waves as high as three meters may be observed in the coasts of the Visayas during the prevalence of the typhoon which could result to gale warnings and suspension of boat trips.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD-7) will conduct a pre-disaster risk assessment meeting with representatives from different government agencies.
“We would like to know what are the preparations that members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) has been doing, especially in the response cluster headed by the regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-7,” Engr. Ver Neil Balaba, OCD-7 DRRM division chief said.
Starting today OCD-7 will be under blue alert status to monitor the impact of the weather disturbance.
“Although based on reports, Central Visayas will not be directly affected by the typhoon, we have to prepare if in case the typhoon would enhance the Habagat. As per report, the gustiness of typhoon Ompong is more than 300 kilometers per hour,” he added.
Balaba urged farmers to harvest their crops and to relocate their livestock.
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