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MANILA, Philippines – Local telecommunication companies are bracing for Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) as it is expected to disrupt network services when it makes landfall this weekend.
Both Globe Telecom Inc. and the Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Company (PLDT) said they have activated teams to ensure their network facilities are equipped with back-up supplies.
For Globe, regional teams have been activated to mitigate damage to their cell sites across Southern Luzon, Greater Manila Area, and Visayas.
“Globe regional teams are being mobilized to ensure they are well equipped to address network issues that could arise from the typhoon,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe senior vice president for corporate, in a statement Thursday, December 4.
Preparations include deployment of back-up supplies, power tools, and infrastructure materials, spares, and back-up fuel.
Globes’ disaster-preparedness program also include employee-safety measures to be implemented in areas likely to be affected by the typhoon.
Meanwhile, the PLDT group said plans to maintain communication services were rolled out on Thursday to mitigate interruptions that might be caused by the typhoon.
It has also stationed restoration equipment and personnel in Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Northern Mindanao regions.
Free call and free charging services will also be activated should network and power failures occur in the said regions, PLDT said.
“We continue to monitor the typhoon’s movement, and plans are in place to maintain communication services and ensure speedy response and restoration should facilities be adversely affected,” said PLDT spokesperson Mon Isberto.
Network facilities of both companies were damaged when typhoon Glenda (international codename: Rammasun) hit several regions in Luzon.
As of 4 pm Thursday, the center of Typhoon Ruby was located at 720 kilometers east of Surigao City with winds of up to 205 km/hour near the center, and gustiness of up to 240 km/hour.
Typhoon Ruby will be 360 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, on Friday afternoon, December 5, and is expected to hit land in the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area by Saturday afternoon, December 6. – with reports from Mick Basa / Rappler.com