MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) raised alert levels for local government units (LGUs) in areas to be affected by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut).
The alert levels from the DILG are determined based on the proximity of an area to the center of the typhoon.
As of 11 am on Thursday, September 13, Alert Level Charlie – the highest – was raised in Abra, Apayao, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga, and Mountain Province. Heavy to intense rain is expected. Ompong's potential landfall is also in Cagayan, possibly on Saturday, September 15.
Alert Level Bravo was raised in Aurora, Batanes, Benguet, Ifugao, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan and Quirino. Moderate to heavy rain is expected.
Alert Level Alpha, the lowest, is up for Albay, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Northern Samar, Pampanga, Quezon, Rizal, Sorsogon, Tarlac, and Zambales. Moderate to heavy rain is expected, too.
LGUs under alert levels should conduct the following:
Secure power, water supply, and communications
Start preemptive evacuation
Announce forced evacuation
Prepare a list of evacuees
Distribute relief packs and conduct mass feeding
Stop traffic in landslide-prone areas
The 1991 Local Government Code and the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 mandate LGUs to be on the frontline of emergency operations during disasters.
The alert levels are part of Oplan Listo (Operation Plan Alert), a disaster preparedness manual that gives mayors and local disaster management units a checklist of what should be done before, during, and after typhoons.
In a bulletin issued 11 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong is already 725 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, moving west at a slower 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 30 km/h.
The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h.
Aside from heavy rain, Ompong may trigger storm surges in coastal areas and very strong winds. – Rappler.com