No casualties so far from 'Dindo'-A A +A
Thursday, June 28, 2012
MANILA (2nd Update, 6:26 p.m.) -- Strong rains and winds brought by Tropical Storm "Dindo" (international name: Doksuri) have yet to force the evacuation of thousands of residents living in Northern Luzon, a disaster official said Thursday.
The weather disturbance, which is expected to weaken once it hits land Thursday night, caused flooding in the municipalities of Aringay and Agoo in La Union but residents have not been moved to high ground, said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Benito Ramos.
"In fact, the floodwaters in Agoo have started to recede," Ramos said in a phone interview.
Dindo, which carries maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 90 kph, is expected to traverse the Calayan and Babuyan islands between 7 and 9 p.m. Thursday.
It continues to move west northwest at 19 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 5 p.m. bulletin.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii, however, has downgraded Dindo to a tropical depression. In an update, the JTWC said Dindo is packing winds of 55 kph near the center before intensifying again in preparation for landfall this weekend in southern China.
Public storm signal number 2 was raised in the provinces of Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Isabela, Batanes Group of Islands, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.
Pagasa said these areas might experience winds of 60 to 100 kph within the next 24 hours, which can potentially pose damage to rice and corn fields, uproot few large trees, and destroy a number of nipa and cogon houses.
Signal number 1 was hoisted over Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, Ifugao, La Union, Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. Winds of 30 to 60 kph are expected within the next 36 hours over these areas.
Dindo was last spotted 140 kilometers north northeast of Aparri, Cagayan and is set to move out of the country by Friday morning, 330 km west northwest of Basco, Batanes by Friday afternoon and 780 km west northwest of Basco by Saturday afternoon.
In Benguet, the Kabayan-Buguias-Abayan road was impassable because of landslide but private equipment has been mobilized for clearing operations.
The Narvacan-Sulvec and San Emilio-Quirino Roads were also not opened to traffic due to collapsed sea wall and muddy surface, respectively.
A two-ton limit, on the other hand, was imposed to motorists plying Gasgas bridge located between Batac City and San Nicholas, Ilocos Norte.
Earlier in the day, the NDRRMC said the Baguio-Bontoc Road (Km 0390+300 Tiktik section) was closed due to massive slide; Sabanagan Bridge, Baguio-Bontoc Road (Km 347+400 Sabangan Section) for repairs; Magapit Suspension Bridge in Lallo, Cagayan due to rehabilitation.
Although not in the direct path of the storm, flashfloods triggered by the enhanced southwest monsoon caused the evacuation of 295 families in the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia in Bukidnon.
Four flights going to and from Tuguegarao, Cagayan were cancelled by budget carriers Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express because of the stormy weather. A plane bound for Laoag City in Ilocos Norte was also forced to return to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila due to poor visibility.
Boat trips in Aparri and San Vicente, Cagayan were likewise called off, resulting in 30 stranded passengers.
As precautionary measure, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said that the field offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DPWH) in Northern Luzon have activated their quick response and social welfare and development teams.
The teams were also instructed to coordinate with the provincial/city/municipal disaster risk reduction monitoring council in their respective areas, and to make an inventory of evacuation centers.
Cagayan Valley has a ready stockpile of 2,283 family packs and 2,579 relief clothing, while the Cordillera Administrative Region has 2,000 family packs.
The agency also has a standby fund amounting to P2.1 million and P13.6 million worth of relief supplies for Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and CAR.
After Dindo, the weather bureau will keep an eye on the brewing storm in the Pacific Ocean this weekend. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)