OCD on alert over ‘Maria’

MANILA -- While it is unlikely to hit the country directly, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) assured precautionary measures are in place to mitigate the effects of typhoon "Maria" (international name).

This was emphasized by OCD spokesperson Edgar Posadas in an interview with reporters Sunday.

"Sa kagandahang palad, ang sabi ng PAGASA, there is a very slim chance na mag-landfall, (but) merong chance na paiigtingin niya yun habagat sa western side (Fortunately, PAGASA said there is a slim chance that this typhoon will make landfall. But there is a chance that it will enhance the southwest monsoon on the western side (of the Philippines). And in fact, we continue to coordinate with the regional officers," Posadas noted.

The OCD will be conducting a Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) with all concerned agencies, Posadas said.

"Kaya tayo (magsasagawa ng) PDRA (The reason why we will conduct a PDRA) (is) to make sure everybody is on board (and that) everybody knows. Magbi-briefing yung PAGASA, magbi-briefing yung MGB (Mines and Geosciences Bureau), makikita yung (PAGASA will hold a briefing. The MGB will also hold a briefing. We will see the) worst case scenario and we will prepare from there," he added.

PAGASA earlier said it is still monitoring "Maria", which was last located at 1,875 kilometers east of Central Luzon, outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

"Maria" has a maximum sustained winds of 185 kph and gustiness of up to 225 kph, heading northwest at 15 kph. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency