Odette (Rai) is the Philippines’ 15th tropical cyclone for 2021
MANILA, Philippines – The severe tropical storm with the international name Rai entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 7 pm on Tuesday, December 14.
It was given the local name Odette, as the country’s 15th tropical cyclone for 2021.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier said Odette is likely to intensify into a typhoon on Wednesday, December 15.
It could make landfall in either Caraga or Eastern Visayas by Thursday afternoon or evening, December 16.
PAGASA has warned the Visayas, Mindanao, and Southern Luzon to brace for heavy to torrential rain and strong winds from Odette.
The weather bureau is expected to issue its first bulletin on Odette at around 11 pm on Tuesday.
Take precautions as PH braces for ‘Odette’, Duterte tells public
As the country braces for Tropical Storm (TS) “Odette”, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday reminded the public to cooperate with national and local authorities should there be a need for evacuation or other necessary actions.
In a prerecorded Talk to the People, Duterte directed government agencies and local government units (LGUs) to ensure that Filipinos, especially those who are on or near the tropical depression’s projected path, to keep monitoring the situation and conduct all necessary preparations and precautions.
“Nandiyan naman ‘yan. Iyong dadaanan ng bagyo lumalabas diyan sa news — newspaper pati sa TV (It’s all there. The areas where it will pass, it’s all in the news—newspaper and TV). All you have to do is to watch TV and makita mo ‘yung trajectory, ang takbo ng bagyo (and you will see the outlook of the storm),” he said.
He also called on the public to comply with advisories issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
“Kung malapit kayo diyan, medyo umalis na muna kayo (So if you are near the affected areas, temporarily evacuate), especially if the PAGASA, the weather bureau would say umalis kayo diyan sa lugar na ‘yan kasi diyan tatama (evacuate because it will hit the area),” he added.
Earlier, Malacañang said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is making the necessary preparations in coordination with the regional and local disaster risk reduction and management councils to ensure the safety of the public.
As of Sunday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has available stockpiles and standby funds earmarked for disaster response.
Based on the 11 p.m. weather bulletin Monday, PAGASA said the center of Tropical Storm Rai was estimated at 1,585 kilometers east of Mindanao and still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
The weather bureau said once inside PAR, the tropical cyclone will be named “Odette” as it maintains its strength while moving west northwestward towards Palau with maximum sustained winds of 65 km per hour near the center and gustiness up to 80 kph.
It is forecast to reach typhoon category on Wednesday and may make landfall in the vicinity of Caraga and Eastern Visayas by Thursday afternoon or evening.
Postponing vaccination days
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III proposed the postponement of the second simultaneous vaccine drive against Covid-19 in areas that are expected to be affected by the tropical depression.
“Mr. President, si [Testing Czar] Secretary Vince Dizon at si [Vaccine Czar] Secretary [Carlito] Galvez at kami po kasama si [Interior] Secretary Ed Año ay nagkasundo na magrekomenda po na itong Bagyong Odette na paparating at mukhang magiging tropical storm ay kami po ay nagrerekomenda na ang atin National Vaccination Part 2 ay ipo-postpone muna natin doon sa mga dadaanan po ng bagyo (Mr. President, Secretary Vince Dizon, Galvez and Ed Año agreed to recommend postponing the National Vaccination Part 2 amid the approaching tropical storm),” Duque said.
Instead of holding the Bayanihan, Bakunahan Vaccination Days on Dec. 15-17, Duque said they recommended moving it to Dec. 20 to 22 in affected areas.
“Posible pong Northern Mindanao, ang Central and Eastern Visayas, at ang Southern Tagalog region ay hindi po na muna natin itutuloy ang bakunahan dahil kinakailangan po mailayo sa peligro ang atin pong mga kababayan sa panahon nitong Bagyong Odette (It’s possible that we will postpone the vaccination drive in Norther Mindanao, Central and Eastern Visayas, as well as Southern Tagalog because we need to ensure the safety of our countrymen during typhoon Odette),” he added.
He said Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Northern Luzon can proceed with the original vaccination days on Dec. 15-17.
The first Bayanihan, Bakunahan event lasted for five days from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, administering over 10.2 million doses of vaccine.
The second Bayanihan, Bakunahan round aims to surpass the national government’s target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by yearend. (PNA)
NDRRMC says over 10,000 barangays may be affected by ‘Odette’
More than 10,000 barangays may be affected by an approaching tropical cyclone, which is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday night, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said during the Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday that these barangays are located in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, as well as in certain parts of Southern Luzon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration earlier said Tropical Storm Rai will be named Odette once it enters the country’s jurisdiction.
“Tinukoy na po ang lagpas 10,000 barangay na located du’n sa mga areas na posibleng tamaan po nitong bagyo diyan sa Kabisayaan at Mindanao and some areas also of Southern Luzon,” Timbal said.
(We identified over 10,000 barangays located in the areas where the tropical cyclone may hit there in the Visayas and Mindanao, and some areas also of Southern Luzon.)
“Nagpalabas din po tayo ng warning and reminders doon sa local governments in the Northern Luzon area kasi baka makaranas po sila ng pag-uulan din dulot naman po ng shear line na maaapektuhan po ni bagyong Odette,” he added.
(We also issued warnings and reminders to local governments in the Northern Luzon area because they may also experience rains brought by the shear line which may be affected by Odette.)
Timbal likewise said that local government units (LGUs) may conduct a preemptive evacuation if they perceive an imminent risk in their area.
“Na-identify nga po natin ‘yung mga areas na at risk kaya po pinaalalahanan po ‘yung mga LGUs na bago pa po dapat dumating itong sama ng panahon at nakikita po ‘yung imminent risk sa area, maaari pong magsagawa na ng preemptive evacuation itong ating mga local government units,” he said.
(Since we identified the areas at risk, we remind LGUs that before the weather disturbance enters and they see an imminent risk in the area, they may conduct a preemptive evacuation.)
“Part of the preparations din is magkakaroon ng travel suspension sa inter-island sea travels diyan sa Bicol Region, sa Eastern Visayas, and in Caraga para po maiwasan po natin na may maabutan ng sidwa sa karagatan at magkaroon din ng mga stranded na biyaheros diyan sa mga ports po natin,” Timbal continued.
(Part of the preparations is to have travel suspension on inter-island sea travels in the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, and Caraga to prevent sea accidents and stranded passengers in ports.)
The government on Monday said it is preparing for the anticipated onslaught of Odette and assured the public it is closely monitoring the situation.