TYPHOON ALERT FOR WEEKEND
Storm heading to Luzon weakens but it’s good to be prepared
Disaster officials in Cebu will have skeleton staff, volunteers and heavy equipment standing by as typhoon Chedeng (international name Maysak) makes landfall in Luzon over the weekend.
The cyclone will enter the Philippine area of responsibility by dawn today.
“We are already preparing. We should not be complacent,” Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak told reporters yesterday.
Weather forecasts will be more specific and 70 percent accurate once the storm enters the country, said Tumulak, who heads the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He advised city residents to stock up on food, water and medicine because many supermarkets and stores are closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
The approaching typhoon has threatened summer holiday plans with a large number of Filipinos traveling to home provinces and resorts for the Holy Week break starting yesterday.
STORM TO WEAKEN
Cebu can expect overcast skies on Good Friday, said the state weather bureau Pagasa.
The typhoon has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines, said weathermen.
Chedeng’s sustained winds weakened on Wednesday from 215 kph to 190 kph and could still weaken further as it approaches the eastern coast, Pagasa said.
The cyclone was packing winds of 160 kilometers per hour when it passed north of islands of Micronesia early Wednesday.
Chedeng is expected to make landfall on Saturday night or Easter Sunday in northern and eastern Luzon.
The typhoon will hit the country just as the hot and dry season officially arrived. Although the past few days have been warm and humid, Pagasa confirmed only yesterday that the hot and dry season has begun.
It said the northeast monsoon or Amihan, which brought cold weather from October to February, has ended. Despite the onset of the dry season, the country would still experience some rain showers and thunderstorms due to the urban heat island effect or wind convergence.
In case there are evacuees, more than 30,000 family food packs are ready for distribution at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) and Petroni Warehouse, said the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Each pack is sufficient for two to three days with six kilos of rice, eight canned goods (four meat and four fish), eight sachets of coffee and eight packs of noodles.
Trucks and other vehicles are also being arranged and nearly P1 million fund has been set aside to buy extra food packs if needed.
At the Capitol, Baltazar Tribunalo, head of the Cebu provincial disaster office, said a skeletal force is in place to monitor and provide assistance.
He said they will distribute satellite phones to all towns and cities today or tomorrow.
In Lapu-Lapu City, Andy Berame, local disaster officer, said schools and gyms were ready as evacuation centers. Food stocks were prepared for the 11 barangays in nearby Olango Island.
In Mandaue City, Felix Suico, head of the local disaster office, said 14 vehicles were standing by for emergency rescue and relief operations.
The Mandaue Contractors Association offered their warehouses as evacuation centers.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes ordered disaster management personnel to monitor settlers along the creeks, rivers and low-lying areas.
ty Occupants will be evacuated if the water rises to critical levels.
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