Cordillera on alert for ‘Mangkhut’

BOKOD, Benguet — Authorities here on Tuesday warned residents to brace for Typhoon Mangkhut.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Ruben Carandang made the warning as “Mangkhut” is expected to strengthen further as it moves towards the country.

“Be ready and alert as the country’s weather bureau has reported that Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to develop into a super typhoon, similar to ‘Yolanda’ and ‘Lawin’. ‘Mangkhut’ will bring strong wind and heavy rains,” he told leaders of the Cordillera provinces during the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting here.

Carandang said he took advantage of the RDC meeting to inform the governors of the region’s provinces of the situation and give residents advisories.

“(National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Administrator) Undersecretary (Ricardo) Jalad has given an instruction to strictly enforce the pre-emptive evacuation to avoid victims of landslides and flashfloods,” he added.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, who also chairs the RDC and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), likewise issued a warning and alerted all concerned offices to be on their toes as the typhoon is expected to affect parts of northern Luzon starting Thursday.

“Be ready and alert, especially with the possible floodings and landslides due to scattered rains and thunderstorms,” Domogan said.

He also warned the public to take extra precautions, such as preventive evacuation.

“Clear the canals to prevent the flooding in areas that are prone to landslides,” he added.

On Monday evening, the City Information Office posted on social media a video of Domogan advising Baguio residents to be prepared.

He ordered the different barangays to activate their respective disaster risk reduction and management committees (DRRMC).

“We just finished our coordination meeting with the members of CDRRMC (City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council), and we also asked them to activate their groups and to provide assistance,” he said on a Facebook post.

Domogan also instructed the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the CDRRMC to be on red alert starting Thursday and provide timely and accurate coordination and monitoring services to the public.

He also urged the Baguio City Emergency Medical Services, Baguio CIty Fire Department, Baguio CIty Police Office, and Philippine Red Cross-Baguio Chapter to be on red alert.

“Other concerned agencies should also activate their response teams to provide assistance and effective evacuation camp management and efficient distribution of food and non-food items,” Domogan said.

He assured that the City Health Office will also activate all district health centers with complete provision of necessary resources, essential medicine, and appropriate number of personnel, as well as communication and transportation for accessibility.

“Mangkhut” will be given the local name “Ompong” once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday. Pamela Mariz Geminiano/