DAGUPAN CITY – The city of Dagupan is now on high alert as Typhoon “Mangkhut” already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday, September 12.

As the potential supertyphoon continues to gain strength and is expected to threaten Northern Luzon, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez immediately called for a meeting on September 11, with the city’s Quick Response Team (QRT), various department heads, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), barangay captains and concerned agencies in the city.

During the meeting, Ronald De Guzman, head of the CDRRMO, presented the possible situations the city may face upon encountering the typhoon.

De Guzman also discussed the standard rescue operations to be conducted by their rescue team during the onslaught of the typhoon.

Mayor Fernandez instructed the CDRRMO to conduct preemptive evacuation measures before the supertyphoon could reach the city. This is to ensure that the safety of Dagupenos will not be at risk by evacuating them only during its onslaught.

Fernandez also called on other agencies to prepare for the typhoon, advising the Dagupan Electric Corporation (DECORP)  to immediately cut off power supply if needed to prevent possible risk and injury while the Dagupan City Water District was asked to prepare its water trucks to provide drinking water if necessary.

With the typhoon also packing winds similar to that of Supertyphoon Yolanda,  Mayor Fernandez also urged the barangay captains and coastal authorities such as the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coastguard  to remain vigilant and immediately alert the city’s fisherfolk on the dangers of fishing during the typhoon.

During  the meeting, Fernandez also reiterated to the various response teams and officials to fulfill their responsibilities in order to make sure assistance will be readily extended to those in need.

“Our CDRRMO and PARMC are operating 24 hours a day. We have to make sure our rescue trucks and rescue boats are ready. We will be having shifting schedules to make sure operations will be continuous. Kailangan ng kaunting sakripisyo, but we have to be alert,” said Fernandez.

As of posting time, “Mangkhut” packs a maximum sustained winds of up to 205 kph and was last spotted 1,390 kilometers east of Southern Luzon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The typhoon, locally named “Ompong” as it entered PAR, is expected to affect North and Central Luzon when it traverses the Cagayan-Batanes Area this Saturday. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)