MANILA - Initial reports indicate that typhoon Glenda's impact won't be as bad as what 'Milenyo' did to the country 8 years ago, officials said on Wednesday.
In a press conference at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson said they have yet to assess the extent of the destruction brought by Glenda but “it is nowhere near the magnitude of Milenyo.”
Milenyo battered the country in 2006, leaving behind massive destruction in major parts of Metro Manila and nearby regions. Deaths totaled around 200.
Glenda has, so far, claimed less than 10 lives.
Singson even said he was “happily surprised” there was minimal flooding across the metropolis and nearby regions. Even the areas most prone to flooding reported flood waters easily subsiding.
“If you recall two years ago, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved a flood-control master plan. And we started implementing the high-priority, high-impact [portions],” he said. These include clearing operations of homes near waterways.
Majority of national roads are passable, he added.
NDRRMC chief Alexander Pama said the people are now more informed, a lesson learned in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda in November.
Singson also credited the capacity of PAGASA in bringing the correct warnings to the public.
“We now have enough confidence to rely on the ability of the DOST-PAGASA to give us a very accurate information, even the possibility of storm surges,” he said.
He admitted “we did not understand the [storm surges]” prior to Yolanda’s wrath.
Meanwhile, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Aquino has directed the NDRRMC and its local councils to expedite the clearing and recovery operations in the typhoon-hit areas.
He also said the government expects there won't be an abnormal increase in the prices of basic commodities.
Some areas have declared a state of calamity, which means a price freeze in the basic goods, he added.