By Glenda Tayona, September 12 2018; Panay News

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ILOILO City – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Western Visayas assured the public it is “100 percent” prepared for a potential super typhoon expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility by 12 p.m. today.

After the pre-disaster risk assessment meeting yesterday with concerned government agencies, OCD regional director Jose Roberto Nuñez said an operation center would operate round the clock starting midnight of Sept. 12 to monitor the situation.

Located at the OCD regional office inside Camp Delgado, the operation center will issue situation reports every six hours.

Nuñez said specific areas needing focus are Capiz, Antique and some parts of Aklan and Negros Occidental.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), severe tropical storm “Mangkhut” may develop into a super typhoon.

It will be called “Ompong” once inside the PAR.

While the trajectory of “Mangkhut” is the northernmost of Luzon, Nuñez said the typhoon would enhance the southwest monsoon and thus bring heavy rains to Western Visayas.

The goal is zero casualty and early preparation is the key, said Nuñez.

The public is encouraged to report anything related to the typhoon via OCD Region 6’s hotline numbers 0949-180-6115, 337-6671 and 336-9353.

“We have accounted all our members agencies and their corresponding preparations,” said Nuñez.

The member agencies are the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Economic and Development Authority, Pagasa, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine National Police, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Philippine Ports Authority, Bureau of Fire Protection, Armed Forces of the Philippines, city and provincial disaster risk reduction and management offices, Philippine Red Cross, and National Telecommunication Commission.

Nuñez advised the public not to panic but instead be vigilant.

He stressed the importance of getting information about the typhoon from legitimate sources such as the official website and social media accounts of Pagasa.

Also, said Nuñez, people should refrain from sharing unverified or false information or fake news about the typhoon.

“Sana huwag nilang gawin kasi nagpa-panic ‘yung mga tao,” said Nuñez./PN