Communication now a struggle in Batanes due to Ompong

Marje Pelayo   •   September 15, 2018   •   4580

FILE PHOTOS: Cell site, Batanes map (Reuters / Google)

BATANES, Philippines – Governor Marilou Cayco said Typhoon Ompong is weaker as compared to the Typhoon Ferdie in 2016.

However, the provincial government remains on alert as the strength of Ompong can still be life-threating.

As of 6:00 a.m. on Saturday (September 15), power lines are still up in the entire province. However, Governor Cayco said, communication has started to become static because Smart Communications has already shut down its facility in the province.

There is no recorded casualty as of this writing in the province, according to Cayco.

“Sa ngayon po walang casualty, walang nakikitang natumbang malalaking puno. Huwag po kayong mag-alala,” the lady governor said during an interview with Daniel Razon on Saturday morning. – Marje Pelayo

‘Liwayway’ further intensifies as it moves over Batanes

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm “Liwayway” continued to intensify on Tuesday afternoon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said the tropical cyclone wind signal no. 1 is still up in Batanes as “Liwayway” continues to move over the Philippine sea east of the province.

Residents in the area were advised to take precautionary measures against potentially strong winds.

The storm was last spotted at 225 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

PAGASA said “Liwayway” is moving north at the speed of 15 kph.

The storm will bring light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over Batanes and Babuyan Islands.

The state weather bureau maintains the storm is not expected to make a landfall and is seen to exit the Philippine area of responsibility as a typhoon by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon is seen to bring scattered light to moderate rains (with at times heavy rain showers during thunderstorms) over Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, CALABARZON, northern portions of Palawan (incl. Calamian Islands), Mindoro Provinces, and rest of Cordillera Administrative Region.

Residents in the said areas are advised to take precautionary measures against possible floods and landslides.

PAGASA also warned that sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Luzon due to potentially rough sea conditions.

Typhoon Hanna gains strength as it nears exit on Friday

Marje Pelayo   •   August 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Hanna continues to intensify as it moves towards Japan, according to the latest forecast from state weather service PAGASA.

As of 4:00 AM on Thursday (August 8), the eye of Typhoon Hanna was located at 485 km East Northeast of Basco, Batanes, packed with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph and is moving northwest at 15 kph towards the southern part of Ryukyu islands in Japan.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TWCS) #1 remains over Batanes and Babuyan group of islands where light to moderate rains with at times heavy rains and gusty winds will be experienced throughout the day brought about by the enhanced southwest monsoon or habagat.

Likewise, moderate to heavy monsoon rains may affect MIMAROPA, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, and Batangas.

Meanwhile, light to moderate with at times heavy rains may prevail over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon and Western Visayas.

PAGASA warned that sea travel is not advised over the seaboards of Batanes, the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas, and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao due to potentially rough sea conditions.

The weather agency said Typhoon Hanna is less likely to make landfall on any part of the country but will continue to intensify as it nears exiting the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) expectedly Friday morning.

PH Coast Guard ships sail to quake-hit Batanes for relief ops

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Two vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are on their way to Batanes province to bring relief goods and supplies for the victims of two successive earthquakes that jolted Itbayat town last July 27.

The PCG said the ships called BRP Malabrigo and BRP Capones are carrying relief goods and supplies including tents (steel frame and tent cover), sleeping kits, laminated sack roles (lona), boxes of canned goods, noodles, bottled water, toiletries, powdered milk and packs of rice.

The supplies, which were loaded on the ships on Wednesday (July 31), were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the PCG Auxilliary.

The vessels left on Thursday morning but it remains unclear on when the ships will arrive in Batanes due to strong waves, according to the PCG.

The mobilization is part of the agency’s response plan following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to assist Batanes residents heavily affected by the tremors.

According to PCG Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino, three vessels including the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ BRP Francisco Dagohoy have been tasked to conduct a transport mission to Batanes.

The PCG also deployed its Islander plane with medical teams on board to assist the Department of Health (DOH) personnel attending to the medical needs of residents affected by the earthquakes.

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