CAGAYAN, Philippines – The province of Cagayan started preparing for the wrath of Typhoon Mangkhut, which is expected to hit the Cagayan-Batanes area on Saturday, September 15.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba on Tuesday, September 11, convened the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) for a pre-disaster risk assessment as the province was put on heightened alert ahead of the typhoon.
Mangkhut is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday, September 12. It will be given the local name Ompong.
Mamba told local disaster response teams to "prepare our people," taking lessons from Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima), which hit Cagayan in October 2016.
"Ito na ang tinatawag na 'new normal.' Sa pagdating ni Ompong, anything is possible. Posibleng mangyari muli ang naranasan natin noong Bagyong Lawin," Mamba said.
(This is the "new normal." When Ompong arrives, anything is possible. What we experienced during Super Typhoon Lawin could happen again.)
Rescue and relief units have started to position in key areas in the province. (READ: DSWD prepares P829 million in aid for Typhoon Mangkhut)
Forced evacuation in coastal and flood-prone areas will also be implemented, according to disaster officials. (READ: AFP on standby for Typhoon Mangkhut response)
A liquor ban and sailing ban will be in effect starting Friday, September 14. (READ: Philippine Coast Guard on alert for Typhoon Mangkhut)
Provincial Agriculturist Perlita Mabasa said some farmers have already begun to harvest their crops, following an advisory that they should harvest early to prevent crops from getting damaged by the typhoon.
Mabasa said they are facilitating the harvest to ease the burden of the farmers.