The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has warned the public to be prepared and follow the typhoon warning signals from weather experts and local officials in anticipation of Tropical Storm “Rolly” which is seen to bring “violent” winds.
NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad advised the regional DRRMCs in the path of Rolly to strengthen their risk communication efforts, enforce dissemination of gale warnings, and ensure the availability of resources for preparedness and response.
Typhoon Rolly is expected to make landfall over Aurora or Quezon province on Sunday night or Monday morning, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
As of Saturday morning, Rolly was located 540 km east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes and was moving west over the Philippine Sea at 20 km per hour. It was packing a maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h and gustiness of up to 265 km/h.
By Philippine standards, it is near to reaching the super typhoon classification if it intensifies to 220 km/h maximum sustained winds.
“The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said that typhoon Rolly is expected to continuously intensify and is likely to make landfall at peak intensity of 185 to 215 km per hour,” Jalad said.
He cited a forecast of Pagasa that tropical cyclone warning signals (TCWS) Number 3 and 4 may be raised in areas along Rolly’s path and “these are associated with destructive to very destructive typhoon-force winds.”
He said among the effects associated with TCWS No. 4 include “very heavy damage to high-risk structures; heavy damage to medium-short structures; moderate damage to low-risk structures; and considerable damage to structure of light materials.”
“Many houses built from medium materials are unroofed and walls might collapse. Extensive damage to agriculture is also seen,” Jalad noted.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has instructed its units to monitor and, if needed, conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations in areas that will be affected by Rolly.
General Gilbert Gapay, AFP Chief of Staff, ordered frontline commanders to coordinate with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and NDRRMC for the deployment of their disaster response units.
“These disaster response units are specifically trained and equipped to condut search, rescue, and retrieval operations. Other assets are also available for the transport of relief goods, road clearing, and damage assessment operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NolCom), engaged all joint task forces (JTFs) under his command to ensure that all personnel and assets “are ready to immediately respond should our constituents require our assistance.”
The NolCom has military personnel which are strategically deployed across Ilocos Region (Region 1), Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), as well as in different maritime areas in the West Philippine Sea, Batanes Group of Islands, and Philippine Rise in the Pacific Ocean.
“Each JTF has [an] organic disaster response unit which we activate and proactively deploy in times of calamities so that we will be responsive to the needs of the would-be affected communities,” Burgos said.
The military leadership also encouraged the public to monitor typhoon warning signals and listen to the directives of local officials so they would be safe from the effects of Rolly.
“We take time to once again call on our kababayans to take heed and follow the directions of their own barangay risk reduction officers especially in identified areas where the typhoon will be passing through,” Gapay said.
“As in any instance, preparation is the key in saving lives and even our properties,” he added.