CAGAYAN, Philippines – The provincial government of Cagayan is preparing for a “worst-case scenario” as it braces for what is feared to be the strongest typhoon to ever hit the province.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba on Tuesday afternoon, October 18, met with disaster, rescue, and weather agencies to discuss preparations for the expected landfall of Typhoon Lawin (Haima) over the province early Thursday morning, October 20.
In an interview, Cagayan provincial capitol spokesperson Rogie Sending said the governor has ordered preparations for a worst-case scenario.
“Kanina sabi ng PAGASA, ito pa siguro ‘yung pinakamalakas na bagyo na tatama sa history ng Cagayan. Kaya ang pinaghahandaan ay ang worst-case scenario,” Sending said.
(The state weather bureau PAGASA said this could be the worst typhoon ever to hit Cagayan in its history. So we are really preparing for the worst-case scenario.)
In its 5 pm bulletin, PAGASA warned that signal number 4 or 5 might be raised in Cagayan (including the Calayan Group of Islands), Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and northern Isabela on Wednesday night, October 19.
Sending said the police, military, and Task Force Lingkod Cagayan will begin the forced evacuation of residents in low-lying and coastal areas on Wednesday.
The water levels of several tributaries of the Cagayan River remain high because of rains brought by Typhoon Karen (Sarika).
“Habang maaga pa lang ay mag-forced evacuation na sa mga low-lying areas. Malaki na nga ‘yung ilog ay inaasahang lalaki pa lalo dahil after ng Bagyong Karen ay ito na naman si Bagyong Lawin,” Sending said.
(While it’s still early, residents in low-lying areas should be forced to evacuate. The water level in the rivers is already high because of Typhoon Karen and here comes Typhoon Lawin.)
Sending said rescue equipment, relief goods, and disaster and rescue teams will be pre-positioned by Wednesday morning.
He added that the Cagayan governor also asked for the use of the newly-built typhoon-resilient buildings and churches as evacuation centers.
Classes in all levels and all offices, both public and private, on Wednesday have been suspended.
The Cagayan towns of Gonzaga, Baggao, Santa Ana, Gattaran, and Aparri, in particular, have been directed to prepare for the typhoon. – Rappler.com
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