Typhoon Rolly maintains strength moving west-southwestard toward Bicol Region

Maris Federez   •   October 31, 2020   •   251

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Rolly has maintained its strength as it moves west-southwestward toward the Bicol Region, according to the Philippine Atmispheric, Geophysical and Atronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The state weather bureau said the center of the eye of the typhoon is forecast to pass very close to Catanduanes, the Calaguas Islands, and very close to mainland Camarines Provinces tomorrow morning, and over Polillo Islands and mainland Quezon on Sunday afternoon.

PAGASA said, however, that due to the proximity of the forecast track to Bicol Region, a landfall scenario over Catanduanes and Camarines Provinces is not ruled out.

Nevertheless, violent winds and intense rainfall associated with the inner rainband-eyewall region will be experienced over Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and the northern portion of Camarines Sur tomorrow early morning through afternoon and over Quezon and the southern portion of Aurora tomorrow afternoon through evening, it added.

PAGASA advisory further said that after crossing Central Luzon, the center of Typhoon Rolly is forecast to exit the mainland landmass on Monday morning.

The weather center also said that Typhoon Rolly is likely to remain a typhoon category (185-205 km/h) by the time it grazes Bicol Region and makes landfall over Quezon.

During its traverse over Luzon, the typhoon is forecast to weaken considerably and emerge as a severe tropical storm or minimal typhoon over the West Philippine Sea.

PAGASA added that beginning early morning of Sunday, the passage of Typhoon “Rolly” will bring heavy to intense rains over Metro Manila, Bicol Region, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Marinduque, and the northern portions Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.

Moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Romblon, and the rest of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.

Flooding (including flash floods), rain-induced landslides, and sediment-laden streamflows (i.e. lahar) may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.

PAGASA Regional Services Divisions may issue local thunderstorm/rainfall advisories and heavy rainfall warnings as appropriate.

PAGASA added that destructive typhoon-force winds will be experienced in areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS) #3, damaging gale- to storm-force winds in areas under TCWS #2, and strong breeze to near gale conditions in areas under TCWS #1.

Based on the intensity forecast, the highest possible wind signal to be raised will be TCWS #4 (for very destructive typhoon-force winds).

It further said that potential impacts of the wind conditions to structures and vegetation under each wind signal are detailed in the TCWS section of this bulletin.

Elsewhere, strong breeze to near gale conditions due to the northeasterlies will be experienced over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and the coastal and mountainous areas of Cagayan and Isabela (that are not under TCWS #1).

The state weather bureau also reported that there is a moderate to high risk of storm surge of up to 3.0 m over the northern coastal areas of Quezon including Polillo Islands and up to 2.0 m over the coastal areas of Aurora, Marinduque, Bicol Region, and Northern Samar and the other coastal areas of Quezon in the next 48 hours which may result in life-threatening and damaging coastal inundation.

This storm surge may be accompanied by swells and breaking waves reaching the coast.

Rough to phenomenal seas (2.5 to 15.0 m) will be experienced on Saturday over the seaboard of areas where TCWS is in effect and rough to very rough seas (2.5 to 5.0 m) over the remaining seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas (that are not under TCWS) and Caraga.

PAGASA warned of travel risks for all types of seacrafts over these waters, especially those under TCWS.

Moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 2.5 m) will be experienced over remaining seaboards of the country. Mariners of small seacrafts are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea. Inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.

PAGASA added that at 10:00 AM Saturday, the center of another weather disturbance, Tropical Depression Atsani, was estimated at 1,655 km East of Southern Luzon (13.4 °N, 139.5 °E).

It currently has maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. It is moving northwestward at 25 km/h and is forecast to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility tomorrow afternoon.

However, Atsani remains less likely to affect any portion of the country over the next 2 to 3 days. It is likely to re-intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours. —/mbmf

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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