THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered its regional offices to coordinate closely with the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices (DRRMO) in their areas of jurisdiction in preparation for the onslaught of Super Typhoon Mawar.

The DILG urged local government units, especially those in areas with recent experience of extended or prolonged rain occurrences and/or landslides or floods, to monitor all weather advisories of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and utilize HazardHunterPH to generate indicative hazard assessment reports on their respective jurisdictions.

It directed DRRMOs to conduct pre-disaster risk assessments for floods, flash floods, rain-induced landslides, debris flow and strong winds, as well as conduct information dissemination among their respective residents.

“Areas showing signs of landslides, such as tension cracks, seepages, terracettes, tilting of trees, etc. monitor moderate slopes with thick soil overburden and areas underlain by old landslide deposits, quarry and mining areas must be also vigilantly monitored. Waterways such as canals and drainages are likewise ordered to be cleared while dams should be ensured stable,” the DILG said.

“LGUs are also expected to conduct pruning of trees and vegetation and clearing of waterways such as canals and drainages,” it added.

The conduct of preemptive evacuation especially in high-risk areas was also encouraged.

DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said these measures aim to mitigate casualties during the onslaught of Mawar, which is currently still outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

Mawar will be named Typhoon Betty once it enters the PAR and it is expected to reach the super typhoon level.

It is also expected to traverse near the extreme northern Luzon and enhance the Southwesterly Windflow beginning this Friday (May 26) and onwards, affecting the western parts of the country.

“With the advisories given by Pagasa, we need to brace ourselves and get ready to avoid casualties and other damages expected to be brought about by this potential weather disturbance,” Abalos said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said it is also preparing for the possible effects of the weather disturbance particularly in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said there were already prepositioned goods in the different parts of the country in preparation for any eventuality.

He said DSWD field offices are now working with the local government units for logistical support.

“Right now, ang average kasi nila will be around 30 to 50,000 in those two regions, independently of each other. Naka-preposition na iyon. But we are doubling it up. The goal here is to double it before the end of business tomorrow,” said Gatchalian.

He also assured that there is enough funds that could be used for disaster response and that the quick response fund from the National Government could be readily made available. (SunStar Philippines)