Government agencies prepare for incoming typhoon

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Courtesy of Cagayan Provincial Information Office

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — As a powerful typhoon moves towards Philippine territory, government forces prepare for the worst.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) assured the public Wednesday that they have made the necessary preparations for the arrival of typhoon "Mangkhut."

Speaking for the NDRRMC, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Spokesman Edgar Posadas said the Social Welfare Department has also prepared a ₱1.7 billion "standby fund" to cater to the needs of affected citizens if necessary.

Posadas said they will enhance their search, rescue and retrieval operations under the military, police, fire bureau and national coast guard. He added that they have coordinated with telecommunication agencies to ensure that communication will not be cut off in the affected areas.

The NDRRMC has also been put on red alert status since Monday. This means they local disaster councils were advised to revisit their contingency plans and information dissemination methods for the public.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Mangkhut, which will be named "Ompong" upon entering the country, will traverse northern Luzon beginning Saturday.

It added that they may raise tropical cyclone warning signal number 1 over Cagayan as early as Wednesday evening.

READ: Typhoon 'Mangkhut' to bring heavy rains, signal no. 1 expected in Cagayan Wednesday

The military's Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) alerted its forces to remain on standby to perform humanitarian aid and disaster response operations. "NOLCOM is working hand in hand with the RDRRMC, OCD and other stakeholders in preparing measures and contingency plans for the imminent threats of typhoon 'Mangkhut'," it said on a statement.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management council (PDRRMC) of Batanes has also assured that they have sufficient supply of food, especially of rice, for its residents.

"They have 2, 400 sacks (of rice) on standby and sapat pa naman ang kanilang food items and non-food items in place [their supply is enough]," Posadas said.

Meanwhile, the PDRRMC of Cagayan said it has already prepared 900 boxes of relief packs to be delivered to Cagayan towns, Lal-lo and Sanchez-Mira. The Social Welfare Department shall also provide 500 relief boxes.

Barangay aid agencies Task Force Lingkod Cagayan, the Provincial Office for People Empowerment and the Agkaikaisa organization have also been put on red alert status to assist possible affected areas.

Malacañang also advised citizens to make the necessary preparations as the country awaits the coming typhoon.

"Maging laging handa, ayusin na po natin ang ating emergency kit, maghanda ng tubig at de lata. 'Yung mga nakatira malapit sa dagat tignan na po natin saan tayo temporarily lilipat," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said Monday.

[Translation: Be alway prepared, ready your emergency kit, prepare water and canned goods. Those who live near the sea check which places you can temporarily move to.]