Philippine gov't prepared for typhoon "Songda": official

08:07, May 26, 2011      

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Malacanang made assurances on Wednesday that the government can handle the incoming "Typhoon Chedeng" (international name "Songda") despite President Benigno Aquino III's upcoming state visit to Thailand on Thursday morning.

In a press conference at the presidential palace on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino will monitor the conditions in the country and use modern technology and communications equipment abroad.

The spokesman also said Aquino had employed a similar approach before. He said the president will use similar ways of coordinating with leading government agencies in charge of handling disasters.

The president wants to make sure that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) have needed goods and equipment in advance, Lacierda said.

Lacierda added that Aquino had talked to the NDRRMC and the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration to ensure that the agencies do their jobs well with regard to the typhoon.

"We want to maintain zero-casualty. Preparations are being done right now," he said.

"We are confident there is enough time for our local officials or public officials as well as citizens to be informed of the typhoons. The local government officials have enough time to prepare so we hope we have zero-casualty," he added.

Earlier, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration cited a possible scenario where "Chedeng" would be moving west to Samar and Bicol, then to Metro Manila.

Source: Xinhua
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