MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday, May 25, started prepositioning its rescue equipment and vehicles ahead of heavy rain which may begin as early as Sunday, May 28.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration earlier warned that that the incoming Super Typhoon Mawar could enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat. Monsoon rain might hit the western parts of Luzon and the Visayas, including Metro Manila.
Disaster response units will monitor “areas that are usually flooded even with regular rain, and also along the esteros,” MMDA Acting Chairman Don Artes said in a press briefing on Thursday.
The MMDA’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, composed of 20 rescuers, will be on standby. This is on top of rescue teams from local government units.
The declogging of drainage canals across Metro Manila also continues, according to Artes. He added that they are working on relocating informal settlers living along esteros.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) has prepared 7,832 family food packs as of Thursday, and 21,000 more are on the way.
The DSWD-NCR also said no families have been evacuated yet.
Given the intensity of the super typhoon and the looming threat of El Niño, Artes said Mawar could be both a blessing and a curse.
“A blessing because it could bring rain which could possibly mitigate the effect of El Niño and a curse because it could bring excess water which could cause flooding. In addition to that is the harsh wind, which could destroy properties, crops, and risk lives,” he said.
Mawar would be the Philippines’ second tropical cyclone for 2023, after Tropical Depression Amang in April. Its local name would be Betty. – Rappler.com
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