'Ofel' moves away from country; storm signal lowered-A A +A
Friday, October 26, 2012
MANILA -- The government weather bureau lowered the public storm warning signal elsewhere in the country, as Tropical Storm Ofel was seen traversing the West Philippine Sea away from the country as of 11 p.m. Thursday.
Ofel (international codename: Son-Tinh), however, left Zambales and Bataan provinces under signal number 1, which means these areas still experience 30-60 kilometers per hour (kph) winds. At least one person was also confirmed dead, while nine others were missing.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Ofel has maintained its strength while moving northwest at 24 kph.
The storm was spotted at 10 p.m. Thursday at 240 kilometers west of Bataan, packing maximum winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.
Ofel will bring estimated rainfall from five to 20 millimeters per hour, which is classified as “moderate – intense,” within its 400 kilometers diameter, said Pagasa.
While Ofel is moving away from the country, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Thursday that the typhoon claimed the life of a certain Sophia M. Recto who died of hypothermia - a condition in which the body’s core temperature is abnormally low.
Nine persons from areas in the Visayas and Mindanao also remained missing as of Wednesday evening due to the storm.
The NDRRMC identified those missing as Jonrey Acaso, 28, of Barangay Nueva Estrella Sur, Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, who has been missing since October 22; Jonnie Fronda Ocson, 8, of Barangay Canduyong, Odiongan, Romblon, and Muhammad Kanape Guiamad, 11, of Barangay Tamontaka, Cotabato City. Both Ocson and Guiamad have been missing since October 24.
In Tacloban City, declared missing were Abet and Ariel Posto, and Climente Umban Jr., 50, all residents of Barangay Costa Brava, San Jose.
Rigel Saycon, 18, a resident of Barangay Cogon, Dumajug, Cebu, was also reported missing since Wednesday afternoon.
Two unidentified individuals from General Santos City were also not able to return home, said the NDRRMC.
The agency added that there are now 16,473 persons reportedly stranded from different ports in Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Southern Tagalog, Western and Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and Northern Mindanao regions.
Also, 97 trucks and cars, 37 passenger bus, 825 rolling cargoes, 106 vessels and 50 motorbancas were stranded in several ports nationwide.
The NDRRMC said "Ofel" has affected a total of 296 families or 957 persons in five municipalities in Eastern Visayas.
At least 32 flights were also cancelled Wednesday due to bad weather brought by Ofel.
Cebu Pacific cancelled flights 5J 531, 532, 539 and 540 going to and from Busuanga as well as flights 5J 521 and 522 to Naga. Air Philippines also cancelled its two flights 2P 265 and 266 to Naga.
Earlier, the Manila International Airport Authority media affairs office announced cancellation of 24 flights as advised by Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines Express, and Zest Air.
Cebu Pacific cancelled its 14 flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Caticlan and Ozamis and Legazpi. The cancelled Cebu Pacific flights are 5J 893, 894, 892, 920, 895, 898, 897 and 896, all going to and from Caticlan as well as flights 5J 781 and 782 to and from Ozamis and 323 and 324 to and from Legaspi.
The Air Philippines also cancelled its own flights 2P 051, 052, 055 and 055 going to and from and flights 2P 021 and 022 to Masbate.
Zest Air cancelled its morning flight Z2 260 bound for Masbate and the return flight 261 as well as its afternoon flight 202 bound to Marinduque and return flight 203.
The Pagasa, NDRRMC and other government agencies earlier warned residents, especially those in low-lying and mountainous areas, against possible flashfloods and landslides.
Fishing boats and other small seacrafts were also advised not to venture out into the seaboards of Northern Luzon and over the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon due to the surge of Northeast Monsoon.
The Philippine Coast Guard, however, allowed some passenger vessels to travel Wednesday following the lifting of storm signals in areas earlier affected by Ofel.
The tropical storm is expected to be 690 kilometers west of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte by Friday evening. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/PNA/Sunnex)