CRDRRMC braces for Tropical Cyclone Karen

BAGUIO CITY  – The Low Pressure Area (LPA) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has intensified into a Tropical Depression and was given local name Kare based on the weather bulletin issued this morning by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

In the forecast presented by said weather bureau during the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) meeting by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Wednesday, almost all provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region are included in the list of potential risk areas where moderate to occasionally heavy rains is expected within the 100km radius from the forecast track.

TD Karen is expected to make landfall over northern Luzon, Quezon – Aurora area, by Sunday night or Monday morning said PAGASA. Potential impacts due to severe winds are heavy damage to agriculture; moderate to heavy disruption of power supply and communication services and its strength is likely compared to Typhoon Lando in 2015.

“Within three days, there is a possibility that it will intensify into a Severe Tropical Storm or Typhoon category” said Engr. Damagis Galati, Meteorologist of PAGASA Baguio weather station.

Due to impending threats, the Cordillera Regional DRRM Council convened on October 13, 2016 for a PDRA and joined the NDRRMC via live teleconference to discuss possible risks of the cyclone, precautionary and preparedness measures.

The alert level status of the Cordillera RDRRMC Operations Center is raised to BLUE effective 5 in the afternoon on Thursday.

During the PDRA meeting, agencies reported their actions taken in preparations for the cyclone. DILG alerted local government units and advised to utilize the OPLAN LISTO to monitor each LGUs level of preparedness. DSWD already prepositioned family packs while their Quick Action Response Teams (QuART) are on standby and ready to be activated. DOH coordinated with provincial health offices and prepositioned medical and laboratory supplies.

Meanwhile, PNP alerted personnel for possible deployment and prepositioned Search and Rescue equipment. DPWH notified district engineering offices and also prepositioned heavy equipment for possible clearing operations. Army personnel are also on standby and prepared SAR equipment. PIA ensured widest dissemination of information through SMS, social media and media partners.

As the Chairperson of the CRDRRMC, Dir. Andrew Alex Uy of OCD-CAR encourages other agencies and Local DRRMCs to take proactive measures to ensure safety of communities.

“Let us learn from our past experiences when it comes to cyclone. As the first line of defense, LGUs should prepare for the onset of TD Karen” he said.

The CRDRRMC issued memorandum to all members of the regional and local DRRMCs enjoining them to synchronize efforts and send reports or updates regularly to OCD Cordillera.

By Franzes Ivy Carasi