Yolanda-hit areas now under signal no. 2 due to Basyang

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Friday, January 31, 2014


MANILA (Updated 5:30 p.m.) -- Public storm warning signals have been raised in several areas across the country, including provinces ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last year, due to Tropical Storm Basyang (international codename: Kajiki).

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said storm warning signal number 2 was hoisted over the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor, Guimaras, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, southern Leyte, eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran Island, Camotes Island, Camiguin, Dinagat Province, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, northern part of Surigao del Sur, northern part of Agusan del Norte.

Placed under public storm warning signal number 1 were Masbate, Palawan, Calamian Gr. of Is. In Luzon; Northern Samar, Aklan, Capiz, Antique in the Visayas; and Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, rest of Agusan del Norte, rest of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur., Northern part of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, and Zamboanga del Norte.

Yolanda, the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land last year, ripped through the Visayas region in November. It killed over 6,000 people and damaged $1.5 billion worth in property and crops.

Basyang, which intensified into a tropical storm Friday, continues to move west toward Leyte-Caraga area at 33 kilometers per hour (kph).

As of 4 p.m. Friday, the tropical storm was estimated at 201 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph.

On Saturday afternoon, Basyang is expected to be at 166 km northeast of Puerto Princesa City. It is expected to be outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Sunday afternoon, Pagasa said.

Tropical Storm Basyang
Track of Tropical Storm Basyang as of 8 a.m., January 31, 2014. (Source: Pagasa)


The weather bureau warned the residents and the local disaster risk reduction management councils in low-lying and mountainous areas in places under storm signals number 1 and 2 to be alert against possible flashfloods and landslides. Those living near the coastal areas were also alerted for possible storm surges.

It said the Bicol Region, Palawan and the rest of Visayas and Mindanao will be cloudy with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms, while Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon may continue to enjoy the cold weather with cloudy skies and isolated light rains.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Visayas and coming from the northeast to northwest over Mindanao, and the coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough, Pagasa added.

"Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon and Visayas due to Basyang and the Northeast Monsoon," Pagasa said.

Pagasa's latest bulletin stated that Basyang will bring an estimated rainfall amount of five to 15 millimeters per hour (moderate – heavy) within its 400 kilometers diameter.

Meanwhile, bad weather brought by Basyang has caused the cancellation of a Manila-bound flight from Surigao and its return flight on Friday, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) reported.

The cancelled flights were PAL Express flight 2P-065 and its return trip flight 2P-066, DOTC said on Twitter.

As of 3 p.m. Friday, a total of 5,178 passengers were stranded in the ports of Cebu, Tagbilaran, Dumaguete, Masbate, Cataingan and Placer, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The stranded passengers are from Bicol Region (187), Central Visayas (1184), Eastern Visayas (82), Northern Mindanao (690), and National Capital Region (3,035).

Vice Admiral Rodolfo Isorena, PCG commandant, said sea-travel is risky over the seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and Caraga Region.

Isorena advised all fishermen, even in those areas not directly covered by the storm warning signal, to temporarily postpone their fishing ventures until the sea and weather condition improves. (With John Carlo Cahinhinan/Sunnex)

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