Cagayan under state of calamity due to floods brought by Typhoon ‘Quiel’

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019   •   391

MANILA, Philippines – The provincial government of Cagayan has declared a state of calamity on Friday due to severe flooding brought about by Typhoon ‘Quiel.’

According to the Office of Civil Defense, around 12 areas in northern Cagayan were inundated with floodwaters due to days of heavy rains.

Local disaster officials earlier reported three people died due to drowning and landslide, and more than 4,000 families were affected by the typhoon.

Based on the latest bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), ‘Quiel’ was last spotted 430 kilometers west of Coron, Palawan.

It is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of 150 kph while moving southwest at 10 kph.

The typhoon is not expected to make a landfall. It is forecasted to exit the Philippine area of responsibility between Friday and Saturday morning.

Residents of Babuyan Islands, Isabela, Apayao and Ilocos Norte as well as Mindoro Provinces, Palawan, and Western Visayas are advised to take precautionary measures due to heavy rains that may prevail in these areas.

Sea travel is also risky, especially for small sea vessels, over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the western seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions, the PAGASA said.

PH Navy extends aid to ‘Ramon’ victims in Northern Luzon

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA – The Philippine Navy’s Naval Forces in Northern Luzon is currently conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation for families affected by Typhoon Ramon (international name: Kalmaegi) this week.

In a statement, the Philippine Navy said members of its unit based at Naval Base Camilo Osias had provided assistance to residents prior to the landfall of ‘Ramon.’

The Navy said it conducted disaster mitigation efforts such as the distribution of relief goods to 52 affected families at Barangay Kapanikian; while residents who evacuated their homes in Casambalangan, Limbus, and Dumasag were brought designated evacuation areas like Tangatan gymnasium and Sta. Ana gymnasium.

According to initial reports received by the navy, at least 5,000 people have fled their homes in the northern part of the country ahead of the onslaught of Typhoon Ramon on Tuesday.

It also dispatched two teams that acted as a support agency to Barangay Casagan.

Other troops, meanwhile, were sent to the municipal gymnasium to provide logistics and resources, observe and maintain security in the area, as well as help in the delivery of relief goods in the affected areas. The Philippine Navy said its unit in northern Luzon continues to monitor the situation in Cagayan. as well as in nearby provinces such as Isabela, Batanes, and Ilocos region for possible deployment and search and rescue operations.

“As emphasized by Naval Forces Northern Luzon Commander, Commodore Caesar Bernard N Valencia AFP, ‘let us continuously provide all necessary assistance to all Cagayanos who are affected by Typhoon Ramon and let us assure that people affected are all in a safe area,’” it added.

With homes still flooded, residents in Cagayan brace anew for ‘Sarah’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 20, 2019

Residents of Cagayan province remain restless after Typhoon Ramon made landfall in the area during the early hours of Wednesday (November 20).

Typhoon Ramon still brought heavy rainfall and strong winds which left several areas in the province submerged in flood. Among the villages affected are barangays Sta. Ana and Gonzaga.

READ: Tropical cyclones ‘Ramon’ and ‘Sarah’ barrel through parts of Cagayan

Merlinda Doblado is among the residents who had to stay awake to monitor the flood.

“Hindi na nga kami pinatulog kasi inaabangan namin iyong pagtaas ng tubig, kasi biglaan (We did not sleep because we were monitoring the flood, it went up too fast),” she said.

Evelyn, another resident recalled they had to cut their dinner short, they did not expect that the flood would increase that fast.

“Tumaas bigla iyong tubig, iniwan namin iyong pagkain diyan sa lamesa. Dali-dali naming binuhat iyong mga gamit at dinala sa mataas (The water suddenly rose, we left the food on the table and took our things upstairs),” she said.

Meanwhile, barangay chairman of Tapel, Gonzaga Danilo Domingo said they had to conduct another evacuation for the resident who already evacuated their homes due to the flood.

“Pagbalik ko dito sa may simbahan hanggang bewang na iyong baha kaya tumawag ako sa MDRRMO [Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office] for rescue nagpadala naman kaagad sila ng truck para i-rescue mga evacuees (When I returned to the church, the flood was already waist deep so I called the MDRRMO for rescue. They immediately sent a truck to rescue the evacuees),” he said.

Aside from homes, several rice fields in the area are also flooded. There are also roads and bridges that were closed to motorists due to landslides and the increase of water level in rivers.

Power cuts were also experienced in Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Sta. Teresita, Sanchez Mira, Lallo, Appari, and Abulug.

According to the latest report of the Cagayan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), 2,824 families were evacuated.

The PDRRMO also said there were no reports of missing individuals or casualties during the storm. Some of the evacuated families were already allowed to return to their homes.

Marlene Campano and her family are among those who can return home. But she still fears for their safety, especially with another looming storm.

“Umuwi kami. Maawa nalang sa amin ang Panginoon, Dios na po ang bahala (We went home. We leave the rest to God, may God have mercy on us),” she said.

Authorities call on the residents to prepare for possible devastation as tropical depression Sarah intensifies into a tropical storm.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

‘Ramon’ weakens into LPA; Tropical Storm ‘Sarah’ maintains strength — PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   November 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical depression ‘Ramon’ weakened into a low-pressure area (LPA) at 2:00 PM today (November 20), according to state weather service PAGASA’s latest bulletin.

Thus, PAGASA has lifted all Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals (TCWS) in areas affected by the LPA.

However, PAGASA said, strong to gale force winds will still prevail over Batanes and the Babuyan Islands while occasional gusty conditions may be experienced over the rest of Northern Luzon due to the surge of northeast monsoon.

As of 4:00 PM today, the LPA was located within the vicinity of Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

Meanwhile, Signal No.1 has been lifted over the northeastern portion of Isabela and the southeastern portion of Cagayan due to tropical storm Sarah.

However, Wind Signal No. 1 remains over Batanes, the northeastern portion of Cagayan (Gattaran, Lal-lo, Buguey, Gonzaga, Sta. Ana, Calayan) including the Babuyan Islands due to the storm.

As of 4:00 PM, the center of the TS Sarah was located at 540 km East of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, packed with sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

PAGASA said the storm slightly accelerates as it moves towards north-northwest direction at 30 kph.

PAGASA said light to moderate with occasional heavy rains will still be experienced this evening over Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte.

Likewise, light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will affect the areas of Ilocos Sur, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Isabela, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya and the rest of Ilocos Norte.

Risk of landslides and flashfloods still remains in the said areas thus, residents are advised to take appropriate actions and monitor updates from PAGASA for the movement of the weather disturbances.

Meanwhile, PAGASA advised that sea travel remains risky, especially for small sea crafts, over the seaboards of areas under the TCWS, seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon and the western seaboard of Southern Luzon due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions caused by tropical storm Sarah and the Northeast Monsoon.

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