Batangas, Quezon prepare for Mawar

By Belinda Otordoz and Pot Chavez

May 26 2023, 7:13 pm

<p><em>(Typhoon Mawar image courtesy of PAGASA)</em></p>

(Typhoon Mawar image courtesy of PAGASA)

BATANGAS CITY – The provinces of Batangas and Quezon in Region 4, also known as Calabarzon, have prepared contingency measures for Super Typhoon Mawar.

“Mawar” is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) either Friday night or Saturday morning and will be called “Betty”.

The Batangas provincial government on Friday announced that worst-case scenario preparations are underway even if Super Typhoon Mawar is not expected to hit the province directly.

In an interview, Dr. Amor Banuelos-Calayan, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), said her office is currently evaluating highly vulnerable and moderately vulnerable locations in the province.

“We are expecting that there will be flooding and landslides. That is why we are on full alert and 24/7 monitoring and activation of our operations center,” she said.

The official pointed out that the municipalities of Nasugbu, Lobo, San Juan, and coastal towns such as Lemery, are the ones most susceptible to floods, and are being monitored closely.

Banuelos-Calayan assured that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will also be ready to assist the towns along the coastline.

“Yesterday, we had a meeting led by our Provincial Administrator Wilfredo Racelis, as per the directive of Governor (Hermilando) Mandanas. We looked at the possible effects of the incoming typhoon on the province's agriculture, land, and tourism,” she added. 

“We have also coordinated with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office so in case there are any casualties, stranded travelers, or tourists, we already have the food to provide for them and means to transport them in our holding area,” the PDRRMO head said.

It was explained that the operations of the PDRRMO are in synch with the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Offices (LDRRMOs) in every city and municipality in the province.

The PDRRMO head urged the public to shy away from panicking, and instead, make reasonable preparations for the storm’s arrival.

Banuelos-Calayan said those who will find themselves needing help can call the PDRRMO OPS Hotline -- 09633677425 or (043) 723 9350.

On the other hand, the Quezon PDRRMO, together with other relevant agencies, assured that it is prepared to evacuate residents should Typhoon Mawar pivot towards the province and cause floods and landslides.

However, PDRRMO head Dr. Melchor Avenilla, told reporters that the latest weather forecasts indicate that the typhoon may not even make landfall in Quezon.

The official said that his office will keep sending out bulletins to advise citizens on the status of the incoming super typhoon which will be called Betty once inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Early Friday morning, Avenilla sent text messages to media practitioners, saying that as of 4 a.m. of Friday (May 26), the typhoon was still 1,740 kilometer east of southeastern Luzon and outside the PAR.

However, the official cautioned that the storm is expected to enter PAR Friday night or Saturday morning.

"All are still advised to be prepared for this weather disturbance, as it may enhance the effects of Habagat," he said.

Meanwhile, Avenilla also advised Quezon residents to be still mindful of the heat index that may reach 41 degrees celsius on Friday, despite the stormy weather.

"All are advised to avoid physical exertions and seek shade from the sun to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke," he added. (PNA)