Rolly intensifies further; Signal No. 1 raised over Catanduanes

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2020   •   365

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal(TCWS) No. 1 has been hoisted over Catanduanes as Typhoon Rolly intensified further as it moves westward over the Philippine Sea, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Friday.

In its 5 p.m. severe weather bulletin, PAGASA said the eye of Rolly was located at 980 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora.

It is packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 230 km/h. It is moving westward at 20 km/h.

Rolly is forecast to move west-southwestward until Saturday evening before turning west-northwestward as it moves over the sea off the coast of Bicol Region towards the eastern coast of Aurora-Quezon.

PAGASA said that on the forecast track, the eye of Rolly is likely to make landfall over the Aurora-Quezon Area on Sunday evening or Monday morning.

Typhoon Rolly is seen to continuously intensify over the Philippine sea and is likely to make a landfall at intensity of 175-195 km/h.

The state weather bureau said that from Friday to Saturday morning, the trough of the typhoon and the northeasterly surface wind flow will bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, Eastern and Central Visayas, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Batanes, Cagayan, and Isabela.

It will also likely bring heavy to intense rains over Northern and Central Luzon and Bicol Region beginning Saturday or Sunday.

Strong breeze to near gale conditions will be experienced in areas under Signal No. 1 within 36 hours of the raising of the wind signal.

Signal No. 1 may also be raised over the northern portion of Northern Samar and the rest of Bicol Region in the next bulletin, the state weather bureau said.

“Given that it is likely for this typhoon to continue intensifying prior to landfall, the highest possible TCWS that will be raised throughout the passage of this typhoon will be TCWS no. 4 (associated with destructive to very destructive typhoon-force winds),” PAGASA said.

The weather bureau also said a storm surge of up to 2.0 meters may be experienced over the coastal areas of Aurora, Quezon, Marinduque, Bicol Region and Northern Samar.

PAGASA also said that rough to very rough seas will be experienced over the seaboards of areas under TCWS and Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Quezon including Polillo Islands, and the northern seaboards of Camarines Provinces. Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for mariners of small seacrafts.

Moderate to rough seas will be experienced over the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao and the remaining seaboards of Luzon.

“Mariners of small seacrafts are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea. Inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions,” the weather agency said.

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Taiwan donates disaster relief fund to Phl

Maris Federez   •   November 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has turned over to the Philippine government its donation for the country’s disaster relief operations.

Representative Peiyung Hsu of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines led the Taiwan delegation in the handing over of the donation worth US$ 200,000 as its “humanitarian assistance for the victims of the recent typhoons including Rolly and Ulysses, at a hand-over ceremony in TECO on 20 November 2020.”

A media release from TECO said Vice Chairman Gilberto F. Lauengco of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office accepted the donation on behalf of the Philippine government.

On the same occasion, Lauengco also received 700,000 pesos donated by Taiwan Association Inc. in the Philippines, the statement added.

TECO said, “As the closest neighbor of the Philippines, Taiwan expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families which lost their beloved ones in the aforementioned tragic disasters and extends a helping hand to the Philippines for its rehabilitation and recovery work.” — /mbmf

TESDA offers free skills training for residents in calamity-stricken areas

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) said it will conduct free skills training in areas devastated by recent typhoons to help residents recover and revive their livelihood.

TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña gave this assurance as his agency conducted relief operations and turned over solar street light panels and portable charging stations in Marikina City and other affected communities in Region 2, Bicol, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA.

Lapeña said they are closely coordinating with local government units (LGU) to continue to deliver its programs and help those who have been displaced and rendered homeless by the spate of typhoons that hit the country in the previous weeks.

He said TESDA regional offices have been consulting LGUs and affected residents on the implementation of relevant training programs that could help them find livelihood opportunities.

Lapeña said post-calamity assistance will come in the form of free skills training on carpentry, electrical installation and maintenance, plumbing and other construction-related courses “to help those whose houses were damaged be able to rebuild their dwellings without the need to hire additional carpenters and electricians.”

“In this way, the residents themselves, once equipped with the right skills, can help one another in re-constructing their houses.  Malaking bagay ito na makakatipid sila sa gastusin sa pagpapatayo ng kanilang bahay na nasira ng bagyong Rolly at Uysses,” he said.

The TESDA chief said cookery training program will also be offered for free in evacuation centers and affected communities “as an immediate relief.”

“By implementing a training program on cookery, the evacuees and residents themselves will have the resources to prepare and cook foods for their own consumption and would not be heavily dependent on relief food packs,” he said.

“Once they finish these training programs, these skills will remain useful which they can use to pursue jobs or new livelihoods,” he added.

Lapeña said TESDA trainers will conduct the training at the nearest and most conducive site located in the affected areas so that the trainees will no longer have to travel to the training centers.

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AFP, PNP shift to relief and rehabilitation ops in typhoon-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The military and police on Tuesday announced they have shifted their priority to massive relief distribution and rehabilitation efforts after days of intense search and rescue operations in areas that were severely affected by recent typhoons that barreled through the country.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson MGen. Edgard Arevalo said all available assets have been mobilized for the transport of relief goods.

Heavy engineering equipment and construction materials for families whose houses were destroyed by the storms were also transported.

“The AFP has shifted to massive relief distribution & rehabilitation operations. AFP Chief of Staff Gen Gilbert Gapay mobilized all sea, air, & land assets,”  Arevalo said.

Earlier in the day, the AFP sent off BRP Tarlac for humanitarian assistance and disaster response mission to Catanduanes in the Bicol region which was pummeled by Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses in the previous weeks.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), for its part, said its relief efforts are ongoing for families affected by massive flooding in Cagayan Province.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said they have also mobilized their personnel and several police trucks to send relief items.

“Meron na kaming pinadala doon at least 5-man trucks. Nagpadala po ng 2,500 relief packages doon po sa Cagayan Province,” Sinas said.

The PNP chief also said they have allocated assistance for policemen whose homes were damaged by recent storms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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