‘Wilma’ makes landfall over Surigao del Sur-A A +A
Monday, November 4, 2013
MANILA (Updated 3:43 p.m.) -- Tropical Depression "Wilma" has made landfall over Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on Monday morning, state weather forecasters said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Wilma, which hit land at 11 a.m., has maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and is forecast to move west northwest at 19 kph.
Pagasa also warned of possible flooding in low lying areas and landslides in mountainous places in Southern Leyte, Leyte and Bohol due to heavy rains.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said it has disseminated information with regards to the storm’s development down to the municipal level through SMS (short message service) and facsimile.
Regional disaster risk reduction and management councils were also advised to take appropriate precautionary measures such as pre-emptive evacuation of families in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes if necessary.
Wilma is forecast to move west at 19 kph and may be 40 km west of Dumaguete City by Tuesday morning and at the vicinity of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan by Wednesday morning.
On Thursday morning, it is forecast to be 440 km west of Puerto Princesa City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
Areas under signal no. 1 include:
Southern part of Negros Occidental
Southern part of Negros Oriental
Surigao Del Norte including Siargao Island
Surigao Del Sur
Agusan Del Norte
Agusan Del Sur
Northern part of Zamboanga Del Norte
Pagasa said Wilma may bring rainfall of 10 to 25 millimeter per hour (heavy to intense) within its 300-kilometer diameter.
It warned residents in areas under storm signal 1 against possible flashfloods and landslides.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) placed all its units on alert and ordered the cancellation of sea travel in the provinces in Northern Mindanao, affecting at least 4,000 passengers.
Coast Guard commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena said that all shipping vessels or any type of sea crafts are not permitted to travel in areas and routes where Public Storm Warning Signals are presently hoisted by Pagasa.
"All those who will violate rules will be subjected for the suspension or revocation of their franchises," Isorena said.
The memorandum circular also mentioned if a shipping vessel was caught by public storm warning in the middle of the sea, it should take shelter immediately and not risk the lives of their passengers.
A total of 4,707 passengers are currently stranded in the Ports of Manila, Cebu, and various roll-on-roll vessel terminals in Southern Negros and Bohol after most of the shipping passengers decided to suspend the operations of their vessels that supposedly will sail on areas affected by Wilma.
"Part din kasi ng storm path eh, dadaanan yun ng bagyo. Ayaw na nila magaya nung Typhoon Frank wherein no signal number was hoisted sa Metro Manila but yung dinaanan ng Princess of the Stars meron," Isorena said
Isorena also directed all the in-charge district commanders in the areas affected to coordinate with their counterpart in the Regional Disaster Risk and Management Council for the rescue and assistance activities.
Also, he advised the port inspectors to be vigilant in their areas of responsibility.
Operators of small vessels, motor bancas and fishing boats are advised to avoid sailing the south eastern and eastern section of the country where sea condition is rough.
Boat operators with open deck and fishermen in the areas not directly affected by the weather disturbance are advised to exercise extra diligence in sailing and to monitor weather development as sea condition will be rough, and to always wear safety gear while at sea. (With JK/Sunnex)