Ilocos cops prepare for ‘Betty’

CAMP BRIG. GEN. OSCAR M. FLORENDO, La Union – Police authorities in Region 1 have prepared for a possible onslaught of super typhoon “Betty” (international codename “Mawar”) to ensure the maximum security and safety of the residents in the Ilocos region.

Police Brig. Gen.  John C. Chua said that the Police Regional Office-1 had already activated its Disaster Incident Management Task Group (DIMTG) to undertake precautionary measures for possible disaster response operations and facilitate comprehensive coordination with other agencies before, during, and after the entry of the tropical cyclone in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

“Pre-Deployment and Show-down Inspection of Search and Rescue Equipment were also conducted in all Police Provincial Provinces to ensure operational readiness and availability of SAR equipment when needed,” he said.

Chua advised all chiefs of police in the region to work closely with their local disaster risk reduction management councils (DRRMCs) to intensify preparations, especially in areas that are likely to be affected.

“Our Reserve Reactionary Standby Support Force (RRSSF) and Search and Rescue Teams were already on standby for possible evacuation and search and rescue operations,” he said.

He encouraged the community to stay alert and advise them to prepare emergency kits in their respective homes.

“PRO-1 remains resolute in intensifying our disaster preparedness and response operations to safeguard the lives and properties in anticipation of the typhoon. While we are exerting our efforts preparing, let us pray for the safety of everyone and for our country to be spared from the onslaught of this typhoon,” said Chua.

As of 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that the estimated location of the center of the eye of typhoon Betty was 1,170 kilometers east of Central Luzon.

Betty is slowly moving west-northwest with a speed of 30 kilometers per hour with a maximum sustained windS of 195 kilometers per hour near its center and gustiness of up to 240 kilometers per hour.

PAGASA hoisted Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 in the eastern portion of Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-Lo, Gattaran, Baggao, Peñablanca, Santa Teresita, and Buguey), including Babuyan and Camiguin Islands, and the eastern portion of Isabela (Maconacon, Divilacan, Dinapigue, Palanan, San Mariano, Ilagan City, Tumauini, San Pablo, and Cabagan).

The State weather bureau forecast that over the weekend, the track of the super typhoon is generally moving
west-northwest affecting the extreme Northern Luzon.

“On Monday, the tropical cyclone will turn northwestward and decelerate as it moves over the waters east of Extreme Northern Luzon. Betty may eventually become almost stationary between late Tuesday and early Wednesday when it will be closest to Batanes,” PAGASA reported.

PAGASA’s forecast is that Betty will remain as a super typhoon over the weekend. It will likely maintain its strength for the next 36-48 hours.

However, this tropical cyclone may begin weakening considerably on Monday or Tuesday during its slow down period over the waters east of Batanes due to potential unfavorable conditions.