BCPO prepares for possible search and rescue operations
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) yesterday began preparations for possible search and rescue operations ahead of the anticipated southwest monsoon, brought about by Typhoon “Mangkhut,” which was classified as a super typhoon by the US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Guam.
BCPO spokesperson, Police Chief Inspector Sherlock Gabana, said the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office called a meeting yesterday afternoon in order to discuss preparations for the storm.
He noted, BCPO director, Police Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, ordered all Bacolod City station commanders to prepare and account their search and rescue resources, as well as uniforms. They were also ordered to check their respective areas of responsibility and coordinate with local barangay officials.
Based on data by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), “Mangkhut” is now showing maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (kph) with gusts up to 255 kph.
The storm entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility yesterday afternoon and was last located east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. The system was also given the local name “Ompong.”
The typhoon is currently heading west at 20 kph and is still forecasted to hit the Cagayan-Batanes area on Saturday.
Earlier this week, the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) was placed on alert in response to the storm.
PDRRMO head Zeaphard Caelian said, although the storm is not expected to hit the Visayas area, the storm will enhance the southwest monsoon in the Western Visayas, which could bring moderate to heavy rains across the province.
Caelian said city and municipal DRRMOs were told to prepare necessary resources as possible landslides and flash floods may occur. They were also told to review contingency and response plans in case there is a need to evacuate local residents./DGB, WDJ