Public told to stay alert

By Jessa Mae O. Sotto, Rosalie O. Abatayo |September 13,2018 - 10:57 PM

TYPHOON OMPONG

While typhoon Ompong is expected to skip Cebu, the public is still reminded to take all precautionary measures especially since the extension of the weather disturbance is expected to bring light to moderate rains all over the province.

This as all departments in the Cebu Provincial government have also been put on alert status.

On Thursday, the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) conducted a coordination conference with all department heads and Director Oscar Tabada, head of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in the Visayas to come up with mitigating measures.

Also, weather specialist Jomar Eclarino of Pagasa-Mactan, said that the trough of Ompong coupled with the intensified southwest monsoon or Habagat will bring light to moderate rainshowers and winds of up to 60 kph up to Saturday.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Ompong was sighted about 575 kms east, northeast of Virac, Catanduanes and with a sustained strength of 205 kph and gustiness of 255 kph.

Saturday landfall

Eclarino said the typhoon is expected to make a landfall in Cagayan and Isabela on Saturday (Sept. 15).

In the Visayas, Pagasa has raised Signal No. 1 in Northern Samar while a gale warning was raised over the eastern seaboard of Samar, Leyte and Southern Leyte, prohibiting vessels in these areas to sail.

Eclarino added that moderate to rough waves could reach up to four meters high and thus dangerous to small sea vessels.

Sea trips cancelled

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG-7) has cancelled all sea trips until further notice.

“We have already issued a notice to mariners and already informed stations and substations all over the province of Cebu and Bohol not to allow any vessel to go out in our maritime jurisdiction,” said Lt. Michael John Encina, operations officer of PCG-7.

He said once the weather improves, sea trips can resume.

Meanwhile, Julius Regner, Information Officer of the PDRRMO, said they have made an inventory of all available resources per department to be used when needed.

“In the different engineering offices, they have their backhoes and other heavy equipment prepositioned in southern, central and northern parts of Cebu,” Regner said.

He added that the AFP also committed to deploy at least 300 personnel should relief or rescue operations be needed.

Meanwhile, the CSBT has cancelled bus trips bound for Dumaguete, Bacolod and Zamboanga because of the gale warning issued by Pagasa-Visayas.

Jonathan Tumulak, CSBT general manager, said normal operations are expected to resume on Sunday, September 16.

Local government units (LGUs) also announced the temporary stoppage of their respective tourism activities.

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