City braces for typhoon 'yutu'

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Friday advised residents to prepare for typhoon "Yutu" (which will be named typhoon "Rosita when it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility) anticipating the howler's potential effects.

The mayor who chairs the City Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinating Council (CDRRMC) called an emergency pre-disaster risk assessment and emergency response meeting with the concerned government offices, utility companies, communication and volunteer groups to map out contingency measures on the four areas of disaster preparedness: mitigation, preparedness, response and relief and rehabilitation.

As of Friday morning, the typhoon is forecast to move toward the direction of Northern and Central Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 210 km/h and gustiness of up to 260 km/h and to make a landfall on October 31.

Barring possible changes in its direction and intensity, the city has to prepare for the worst-case scenario, the mayor said.

"The general public is advised to be vigilant and to monitor the latest weather advisories while those living in low-lying and mountainous areas are advised to perform pre-emptive evacuation and take take appropriate actions against possible flooding and landslides resulting from heavy rains," the mayor said.

The mayor formed Task Force "Rosita" to be composed of five clusters: health and emergency medical services; camp coordination and management (relief for food and non-food); search, rescue and retrieval; management of the missing and dead; and rapid damage assessment and needs analysis and clearing.

He ordered the activation of all Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committees through the Association of Barangay Councils to drum up preparations and pre-emptive evacuation in landslide prone areas.

The Baguio City Police Office, Baguio City Fire Department, Baguio City Emergency Medical Services and Philippine National Red Cross were ordered to be on full alert for emergency response while the offices of the city engineering , environment and parks management, general services, city buildings and architecture and others were directed to be in full force to conduct search, rescue, clearing and rapid damage assessment.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office will lead the camp and relief coordination and management while the City Health Office will activate the district health centers to attend to medical needs.

The Department of Education Baguio was urged to activate its school DRRMCs to monitor evacuation centers while the Armed Forces of the Philippines units and reserve groups, civic action, communication and rescue groups were tapped to give assistance in the search, rescue and relief operations. –**** Aileen P. Refuerzo

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