Negros, Bacolod officials direct DRRMCs to prepare for ‘Betty’

Super Typhoon Mawar was downgraded into a typhoon Wednesday morning, May 24, but the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said it could re-intensify into a super typhoon before it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday night or Saturday morning.

Typhoon Mawar was 2,305 kilometers east of Visayas as of 10 a.m. Wednesday and once it enters the PAR it will be given the local name “Betty”. PAGASA said.

Although a direct hit is not expected, the Negros Occidental and Bacolod City governments have ordered their Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils to make the necessary preparations for any eventuality.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, who held a meeting with the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council on Wednesday, said the barangays have been advised to prepare for the typhoon.

Food packs, evacuation centers, transportation and logistics must be ready, he said.

CDRRM Officer Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan presented a Pre-Disaster Readiness Assessment and Emergency Preparedness Plan during the meeting, Benitez said.

Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said all Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council members were also advised to conduct Pre-Disaster Readiness Assessments and submit their preparedness plans.

“Mawar may re-intensify into a super typhoon and may reach a peak intensity of 205 kph maximum sustained winds over the weekend, PAGASA senior weather specialist Chris Perez said.

The typhoon may head north northwestward in the next 12 hours and may traverse the Philippine Sea, he said.

The typhoon may enhance the monsoon rains over the western portion of Mimaropa, the Visayas and Mindanao beginning Friday to Saturday.

Enhanced monsoon rains are also forecast over the western portion of Southern Luzon and the Visayas beginning Sunday, it said.

“This scenario could still change since the enhancement of the southwest monsoon would depend on the track and intensity of the typhoon,” PAGASA said.

Perez also clarified that depending on Mawar’s proximity to Northern Luzon during recurvature period, its rainbands could affect Cagayan Valley between Sunday and Tuesday.

Flights between Guam and Manila were canceled on Wednesday as the typhoon threatened to hit the US territory.*with a report from PNA

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