TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, April 2 (PIA) – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in Eastern Visayas convened Thursday morning to assess the preparations made by government agencies and local government units as Typhoon Chedeng threatens the region particularly the Samar provinces.

According to OIC Regional Director Rey M. Gozon of the Office of Civil Defense and RDRRMC chairman, pre-identification of capabilities of the local government units and national line agencies is necessary in response to the effect of said typhoon to prevent or minimize the extent of damage.

In its 10AM weather forecast Thursday, PAGASA said that typhoon Chedeng has slightly weakened as it continues to move in a West-Northwest direction. The center of typhoon Chedeng was located at 995km East of Catarman, Northern Samar or 915km East Northeast of Borongan. Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 175kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210kph. It is forecast to move West Northwest at 19 kph.

Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 150-200 km. radius of the typhoon.

PAGASA will raise public storm warning signal number 1 over Northern Samar within the next 12 hours. It is estimated to make landfall over Eastern coast of Aurora or Isabela by late Saturday to early Sunday.

Director Gozon clarified that although Region 8 will not be directly hit by the track of typhoon Chedeng, still it is within the 300 diameter radius that might result to destruction to properties and injuries.

As to reparations, the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard are on heightened alert for possible search and rescue operations.

Department of Social Welfare and Development activated its quick response team and prepared 38,782 food packs ready for distribution to LGUs that will be affected.

Department of Public Works and Highways had pre-positioned its heavy equipment ready to be used for clearing, search and rescue operations.

Department of Health is in Code White Alert and activated its Operations Center while the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has provided contingency plan for the safety of its personnel and equipment necessary in order not to disrupt airport operations.

The Philippine Information Agency is also providing communication support to alert the public relative to the impending disaster.

Meanwhile, respective DRRMCs in Leyte and Samar provinces has been activated and are closely monitoring of the typhoon. (ldl/jhb/PIA-8)