MANILA – UN children’s agency UNICEF on Friday urged local communities on the path of typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) to heed warnings and ensure that children, pregnant mothers and other vulnerable families are evacuated to safe places.
“Children are the most vulnerable in any emergency situation. UNICEF stands ready to provide support and assistance to the Philippine Government; and to local government units in the affected areas to respond to this brewing storm," UNICEF Representative Lotta Sylwander said.
"We also call on parents and local communities to heed the governments’ call to evacuate to safe spaces, to ensure populations – especially children, pregnant mothers, and vulnerable families – are safe from possible damage brought about by 'Ompong'," she added.
UNICEF said it has prepositioned emergency supplies for about 12,500 families. The agency is also ready to distribute supplies on short notice, as well as to activate partners for more emergency supplies.
State weather bureau PAGASA placed Cagayan and northern Isabela under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 4 as winds of 171 to 220 kilometers per hour (kph) were expected to be felt within the next 12 hours.
The typhoon was likely to make landfall around 1 a.m.-3 a.m. on Saturday, PAGASA weather specialist Gener Quitlong and ABS-CBN resident weather specialist Nilo Millanes said.
Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, slightly gained speed and was now moving northwest at 30 kph from 25 kph Friday afternoon, PAGASA said.
As of 4 p.m., Ompong was last spotted 340 kms east northeast of Casiguran, Aurora, still packing maximum sustained winds of 205 kph with 255 kph gusts.