RP PREPARES FOR SUPER-TYPHOON
Manila, Oct. 13, 1998 - The government, learning its lesson from the damage done in Pampanga and Pangasinan by typhoons "Emang" and "Gading", has started preparations for a super typhoon that may hit the Philippines within this week.
Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora said yesterday the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) chaired by Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado has already been instructed to prepare for super typhoon "Iliang."
"The experience of Pangasinan two weeks ago should serve as a lesson for us," Zamora said.
The tropical depression over the Caroline Islands in the Pacific has intensified into a storm and may reach the Philippine area of responsibility within the next 24 hours.
Weather forecasters said the storm, locally code-named "Iliang," may move west-northwest at 19 kilometers per hour in the direction of Eastern Luzon.
The government will also fast-track the modernization of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as part of the overall preparation of the government to mitigate the effects of the La Nina weather phenomenon.
"It's not just a problem of antiquated equipment. There are also problems in assessment. We're trying to see what our options are for the state of forecasting in the Philippines," Zamora said.
He said Secretary William Padolina of the Department of Science and Technology has come up with recommendations and they are now looking at several options.
"We're trying to rush getting money for PAGASA," he added, noting that upgrading the agency's equipment alone would need about P2 billion.
Zamora said Mercado has brought the matter up during the Office of the President-Executive Committee (OP-EXCOM) meeting yesterday.
The OP-EXCOM has been tasked to inform the President of, and make recommendations on, critical developments in the country while he is on a four-day state visit to Singapore.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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