By Jel Santos
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it is now on blue alert, saying it is geared up for the possible devastation of Typhoon “Ompong” in the metropolis.
According to MMDA chairman Danilo Lim, the agency has assigned key frontliners to provide needed services during and after the typhoon.
MMDA said that under blue alert status, 700 personnel from different offices – Road Emergency Group, Public Safety Division, Flood Control and Sewerage and Management Unit, Rescue Battalion, Metro Parkways Clearing Group, and Traffic Engineering Center, are on standby for possible deployment.
Also, the MMDA chairman ordered the mobilization of disaster responders and personnel simultaneous with the placing of Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDDRRMC) also on blue alert on Thursday.
“The raising of blue alert aims to ensure the continuous monitoring of the possible effects of the current weather system and ensure prompt coordination with concerned agencies and offices,” he said.
As signal number 1 is up over Metro Manila, Lim also urged the 17 local government units in Metro Manila to implement disaster preparedness measures in their respective localities for the safety of the public.
Furthermore, he said that MMDA prepared to field rescue vans, emergency boats, military trucks, ambulances, rubber boats, fire trucks, man lifts, and equipment such as life vests, chain saw and mobile pump..
The overall monitoring of operations and warning systems is housed at the MMDA’s Metrobase Command Center, Lim said.
Emergency stations were also set up by the agency on the following locations: EDSA-Roxas Boulevard, EDSA-Ortigas, EDSA-Orense, EDSA-Timog, C5-Libis, Commonwealth-Tandang Sora, and Nagtahan.
Metro LGUs ready
On Thursday, the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) said all the 17 (LGUs in the metropolis are all geared for the typhoon.
“All 17 LGUs in Metro Manila, concerned agencies are all prepared. Manpower and equipment are already prepositioned ahead of the typhoon which is likely to be felt on Friday,” Director Romulo Cabantac Jr., MMDRMC senior vice chairperson, said after the pre-disaster risk assessment meeting.
Michael Salalima, MMDA focal person to MMDRRMC, told council members and disaster management teams to work closely with PAGASA and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for timely weather update.
MMDA will be monitoring 24/7 the condition of streets on the metropolis from their Metrobase Command Center.
“The Metrobase can help in ensuring timely and widest dissemination of vital information during typhoons” Salalima said.
MMDA personnel and disaster-related resources, according to Salima, were placed on standby as early as Wednesday.
“The MMDA is ready to deploy anytime personnel and equipment and provide assistance to the public during rescue and evacuation operations,” he said.
LGUs were advised to maintain open communication at all times for proper coordination, undertake localized preparedness measures, and conduct preemptive evacuations if necessary.