MANILA -- To ensure that all contingencies are in place, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Monday conducted a "Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment" (PDRA) following the entry of typhoon "Gardo" (international name "Maria") in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
The PDRA was held at the at NDRRM Operations Center, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense adminstrator Ricardo Jalad presided over the meeting attended by representatives from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geoscience Bureau, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Department of Information Communication Technology, Department of Public Works and Highways, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, National Mapping and Resource Information Authority, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine National Police, and Department of Education.
Likewise, Regional DRRM Councils I, II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, VI, VII, NCR and CAR joined the meeting via videoconference.
"Gardo" entered the PAR at 3 a.m. Monday. According to PAGASA, the typhoon has maintained its strength while moving over the Philippine Sea.
At 3 p.m., "Gardo" was estimated at 1,020 km east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 225 km/h.
It is moving west northwest at 30 km/h.
While "Gardo" is not expected to make landfall, it may enhance the southwest monsoon (habagat) which will bring rains particularly in MIMAROPA and Western Visayas. Occasional rains may prevail over Metro Manila, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, Zambales, Bataan, and Aurora until Tuesday.
Monsoon rains may affect most areas of Luzon, especially over the western section beginning Wednesday.
Residents in these areas especially in low-lying and mountainous areas are advised to undertake necessary preparedness measures against possible flooding and landslide due to heavy rains.
Sea travel is risky over the northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon due to "Gardo" and enhanced habagat.
Fisherfolk and those with small seacraft are advised not to venture out in the seas. No tropical cyclone warning signal is raised and "Gardo" is forecast to exit PAR by Wednesday morning.
The National Council, through its Regional DRRM Councils, is closely monitoring the prevailing weather systems in the country. DILG has advised all local government units to implement preparedness activities in accordance with the "Operation L!sto" protocols.
The DSWD ensured the availability of sufficient relief items including standby funds and the prepositioning of necessary food and non-food Items. The public is advised to heed the call of local DRRM Councils for evacuation if the need arises.
Authorities also encouraged the public to prepare for the prevailing weather situation. All are enjoined to monitor updates on these weather systems through radio, TV and social media. (PNA)