Central Luzon braces for Typhoon ‘Karen’
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) here Saturday alerted all its local councils and offices in Central Luzon to monitor and prepare for the possible effects of Typhoon Karen.
Josefina Timoteo, chairperson of the RDRRMC and regional director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), said members of the disaster councils have been ordered to undertake precautionary measures and other disaster response activities.
“The RDRRMC convened to implement preparedness measures on the effects of Typhoon Karen in areas likely to be affected, and the pre-positioning of rescue assets,” Timoteo said.
She also said that local disaster councils were advised to disseminate typhoon advisories and warnings through SMS, as well as local radio and television stations.
Timoteo said rescue and emergency response teams are on standby, along with search-and-rescue equipment and personnel.
Concerned government agencies and local government units in the region have prepared food supplies, medicines and disaster response equipment and teams in anticipation of evacuation and other emergencies, she added.
The Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division has also prepared their equipment for disaster operations, while the regional social welfare office has readied family food packs.
The Department of Health has already pre-positioned some P3-million worth of assorted medicines and health emergency management-related logistics in all seven provinces of Central Luzon.
The Department of Agriculture has likewise pre-positioned buffer seeds to be given to farmers who might be affected by the typhoon.
She further said that concerned government agencies and local disaster councils are monitoring the water level in major dams and rivers in the region for possible flash floods and landslides that may be caused by heavy to intense rainfall.
Meanwhile, Timoteo asked the public to follow the weather reports, advising residents in low-lying areas to voluntarily leave their houses prior to the issuance of evacuation operations.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) as of 11:00 a.m. said Typhoon Karen has already passed north of Catanduanes and is moving towards Aurora-Quezon area.
It is expected to make landfall over the Quezon-Aurora area tomorrow early morning, October 17.
Karen has already gained a maximum sustained winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 180 kph, Pagasa said.
Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 500 km diameter of the typhoon.
It further warned of possible occurrence of storm surges along the coastal communities of areas with TCWS numbers 3 and 2 and flashfloods and landslides over all areas with TCWSs.
Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) number 3 is now hoisted in Central Luzon including Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Northern Luzon including Polilio Island and Aurora.
TCWS number 2 will be felt in the rest of Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Rizal, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Zambales, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, La Union and Benguet.
TCWS number 1 is up in Sorsogon, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Island, Isabela, Romblon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Metro Manila, Pampanga, Bataan, and Ifugao and Northern Samar. (Sunnex/PNA)