Cordillera DRRMC remains on Red alert

BAGUIO CITY -– With Typhoon “Lawin” already within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and is forecast to make a landfall by Wednesday afternoon over Cagayan Valley, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geothermal and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, is looking at the possibility for the cyclone to intensify further and may develop as a “Super Typhoon”.

As this developed, the Cordillera Region Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) Operations Center remains on “Red” alert.

Through its implementing arm, the Office of Civil Defense – Cordillera Regional Office (OCD-CAR) continues to issue memorandum and advisories to Local DRRMCs and its member-agencies to further intensify proactive measures.

OCD-CAR director Andrew Alex Uy, CRDRRMC chair recommended cancellation or postponement of scheduled activities for safety reasons.

Quoting PAGASA weather report, Uy said hoisting of Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) numbers 4 and 5 are possible.

All six provinces of the Cordillera Region are in the list of potential risk areas where heavy to torrential rains are expected.

This scenario may cause total damages to structures of light materials, complete roof failure on buildings and houses, most residential and institutional buildings may be severely damaged, electrical power distribution and communication services may be severely disrupted.

All areas under TCWS are alerted for possible landslides and flashfloods.

Members agencies of the CRDRRMC’s Search, Rescue and Retrieval (SRR) Cluster convened to launch possible augmentation prior to the onslaught of Typhoon “Lawin”.

The 503rd Brigade of the Philippine Army’s (PA) nine SRR teams are on standby, the Police Regional Office – Cordillera (PRO-Cor) prepositioned Search and Rescue (SAR) boxes containing SRR equipment, spine boards including communication equipment with eight teams trained on Mountain and Water SAR also on standby.

The Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) released advisories while the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR) constantly monitors rain gauges and water level monitoring systems.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG-CAR) sent advisories to local government units (LGUs) to activate their local DRRMCs and require the use of Operation LISTO as preparedness monitoring mechanism.

12,000 family food packs were prepositioned at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR) field office with additional 10,000 food packs requested from the DSWD Central Office on stand-by.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) is closely coordinating with concerned agencies for the submission of reports for possible creation of rehabilitation plan.

The Department of Education (DepEd-CAR) committed to issue early warning advisories on suspension of classes.

Uy recommends inspection and preparation of schools to be utilized as evacuation centers.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR) prepositioned equipment to vulnerable areas and advised District Engineering Offices to activate disaster teams.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr-CAR) issued advisory to operators regarding the threats of Typhoon “LAWIN” and recommends suspension of all trips in the region from Wednesday to Friday.

The Department of Health (DOH-CAR) prepositioned medical supplies and medical teams.

Uy said that as of 5 p.m. on October 18, TCWS 1 is hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Cagayan including Calayan group of Islands, Batanes group of Islands, Isabela, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Catanduanes and Polillo Islands. Jojo Lamaria/