Metro Manila ready for ‘Tisoy’ onslaught

MANILA — As Typhoon “Tisoy” (international name Kammuri) nears landfall, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday said Metro Manila and concerned government agencies are ready for its onslaught.

MMDA General Manager Arturo “Jojo” Garcia said both emergency equipment and responders have been stationed in the susceptible areas in Metro Manila.

“We assure, 100 percent naka-ready na po tayo. ‘Yung atin pong four quadrants sa Metro Manila, naka-ready na po ‘yan (We are 100 percent ready. In the four quadrants of Metro Manila, emergency responders are on standby),” Garcia said in a press conference at the MMDA headquarters in Makati City.

Other measures are ongoing such as taking down billboards and giving out recommendations for suspension of classes.

“Nagsimula na rin pong magtanggal ng mga billboards natin. DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) nag-advise na rin po sa LGUs (local government units) na mag-suspend ng klase (Removal of billboards have begun. The DILG have also given their advice to relevant LGUs to suspend classes),” Garcia said.

Garcia said all 61 water pumping stations under the MMDA were in good working condition while the sewerage systems — drain pipes, canals — have been continuously cleaned and maintained year-round.

However, improperly disposed garbage may still end up clogging the drainage systems caused by irresponsible individuals, he said.

“On sewerage, may darating mang bagyo or wala, laging nalilinis yan. Roxas Boulevard maraming basura. Iresponsableng mamamayan sanhi ng basura (if there’s a typhoon or not, sewerages are always cleaned. But in Roxas Boulevard, there’s a lot of trash. Some irresponsible individuals are causing the buildup of garbage.),” Garcia said.

Based on studies, Garcia said it was found that there were 579 barangays (villages) susceptible to flooding and landslides in Metro Manila — majority of which are in the cities of Manila (215 barangays) and Pasay (121 barangays).

As for preemptive evacuations, Garcia said it would be up to the respective LGUs but the MMDA, and the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council would be ready to provide support.

During the briefing, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson, Capt. Armando Balilo said the PCG has deployed personnel in flood-prone areas such as in the cities of Manila, Marikina, Navotas, and Valenzuela.

He added that their personnel are making rounds at the Baseco area in Manila and Malabon to monitor the water-level and allow for timely evacuation.

Balilo added that all maritime activities in Metro Manila have been suspended as standard-operating-procedure in preparation for the typhoon.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tisoy maintained its strength while moving westward at 25 kilometers per hour towards Bicol.

The eye of Tisoy was last observed at 235 kilometers east-southeast of Virac, Catanduanes. It is packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

PAGASA forecasts frequent to continuous heavy to intense rains between Monday afternoon to Tuesday noon over Bicol Region, Northern Samar, Southern Quezon, and Marinduque.

Occasional heavy rains are expected in Romblon, Mindoro provinces, Samar, Eastern Samar, and the rest of Calabarzon and intermittent heavy rains in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, eastern portions of Cagayan and Isabela, and the rest of Eastern Visayas.  Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA –