The weather disturbance outside the Philippine area of responsibility, with international name “Mawar,” intensified into a super typhoon on Tuesday, the state weather bureau said.
In its 4 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Mawar was last spotted 2,285 kilometers east of Visayas at 3 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of up to 185 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of 230 kph.
While Mawar – to be called “Betty” when it enters PH territory — has no direct effect on the country’s weather yet, it may enter the PAR by Friday or Saturday, PAGASA said.
Mawar is also expected to enhance the southwesterly wind flow, which could bring rains to the western parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
It is not expected to hit land, but PAGASA said it will continue monitoring its movement.
The Marcos administration, meanwhile, assured the public on Tuesday that preparations are underway for the possible effects of Mawar, particularly in the Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions.
In a press briefing in Malacañan Palace, Social Welfare Secretary Rexlon “Rex” Gatchalian said the department has already prepositioned goods in different parts of the country.
“We have worked with PAGASA on the modeling where it seems (the storm is) going to, it seems at this point, since it’s very early. It’s going to affect Regions II, Regions I, all the way to Batanes,” he said.
The DSWD has augmented the stockpile of food packs in northern Luzon in preparation for the storm, he added.
“Right now, the average will be around 30,000 to 50,000 (packs) in those two regions, independently of each other. It has been prepositioned. But we are doubling it up. The goal here is to double it before the end of business tomorrow,” Gatchalian said, adding they will start mobilizing as early as this weekend. Vince Lopez and Rio Araja
The Social Welfare chief also assured there are enough funds for disaster response and that the quick response fund (QRF) from the national government could be readily made available.
“Remember in our quick response fund, part of it is preparedness, making sure we are ready even before the storms come in. At DSWD, we have a full department doing disaster response,” he explained.
“It’s not a one-shot deal that it was just if there is only a typhoon coming. All year long, they do these types of stockpiling activities, identifying, and when I was signed up, we were talking about… we are trying to expand our warehouse system. That is what we are utilizing now, the warehouse system — the LGUs or (the) national government or (concerned) national government agencies.”