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Philippines prepares for fury of ‘super typhoon’
By Manolo B. Jara September 12, 2018
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MANILA: Officials on Tuesday said the country was prepared to cope with the destructive fury of typhoon Mangkhut which is projected to enter the Philippines on Wednesday afternoon amid warnings from state weathermen that it has the potential of intensifying into a “super typhoon.”

“Preparations have been intensive. Since the weekend, our regional directors have been directed to make preparations,” Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, the chief of the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), told Radyo Inquirer.

“What’s critical,” Jalad said in a mix of Filipino and English, “are the timely advisories to our countrymen so that evacuations could be enforced.”

Officials also assured that relief goods have already been stored in strategic points in coordination with local government units like towns and cities to be affected by the typhoon.

Aldczar Aurelio, senior forecaster of the state weather bureau, reported that after wreaking havoc on the island of Guam and the Northern Marianas islands on Monday night, Mangkhut was expected to intensify while at sea on its way to the Philippines. Aurelio said that when it enters the Philippine on Wednesday, the typhoon would be named Ompong, adding that as of Tuesday, it was packing maximum centre winds of 170 kilometers per hour from the previous 160 kph.

Its gustiness also rose to 210 kph from the previous 195 kph, with the typhoon projected to make landfall on extreme Northern Luzon, particularly Cagayan Valley, the Ilocos region as well as Batanes island, Aurelio said.

But he warned that the typhoon would enhance the prevailing southwest monsoon that would bring rain over Southern Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao starting on Wednesday that could cause floods and landslides in “danger areas.”

“While it is still far,” Aurelio said, “we urge the public to prepare for this typhoon. Look for safe areas as heavy rains may trigger flooding and landslides. It is also expected to bring strong rains.”

Ezra Bulquerin, also a senior weather specialist, warned that the typhoon could still intensify into a super typhoon while over the sea as it roared towards the Philippines. Philippine weathermen categorise a cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 220 kph as a super typhoon even as Lieutenant General Emmanuel Salamat, the chief of the military’s Northern Luzon Command, reported they were prepared for the arrival of the typhoon.

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