- Floods, storm surge feared
- 340k flee; 6,557 stranded
- NAIA resumes operations
Metro Manila can expect “frequent to continuous heavy to intense rains” Wednesday due to Typhoon “Tisoy,” the weather bureau said Tuesday.
Other areas in the typhoon’s path may experience floods and landslides, while storm surges of three meters or 9.8 feet high are also likely in the coastal areas of Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Cavite, and Batangas.Anna Clauren, weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Tisoy is the strongest storm in 2019 in terms of wind speed.PAGASA said other parts of Northern Luzon not placed under tropical cyclone wind signal may still experience gusty winds.Tisoy made its first landfall in Gubat, Sorsogon on Monday at 11 p.m., then its second landfall in San Pascual, Burias Island, Masbate on Tuesday at 4 a.m., its third landfall in Torrijos, Marinduque yesterday at 8:30 a.m., and its fourth landfall in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro at 12:30 p.m.As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the eye of the typhoon was located at 110 kilometers northwest of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro or 135 kms north of Coron, Palawan.Packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kms per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 200 kph, it was moving west at 25 kph.Tisoy is forecast to stay at 375 kms west of Subic, Zambales in the next 24 hours, 655 kms west of Subic or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility in the next 48 hours (Thursday afternoon), and 775 kms west of Coron, Palawan, also outside PAR within the next 72 hours (Friday afternoon).PAGASA said Tisoy slightly weakened but is still considered a powerful typhoon due to its vast diameter.Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 3 was raised in Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro, including Lubang Island, and Batangas.Signal no. 2 remained in effect over Romblon; Camarines Norte; National Capital Region; Bulacan; Bataan; Tarlac; Pampanga; Rizal; Quezon, including Polillo Islands; Zambales; Marinduque; Cavite; Laguna; northern portion of Camarines Sur; southern Nueva Ecija; southern Aurora, and Calamian Islands.The southern portion of Quirino, rest of Aurora, northern portion of Palawan, Pangasinan, southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya, Burias Island, rest of Nueva Ecija, northern Aklan and northern Antique had signal no. 1.Tisoy on Tuesday lashed the country with fierce winds and heavy rain, as hundreds of thousands took refuge in shelters and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was shut down over safety concerns.The powerful storm, which blew in windows and sheared off roofs, roared ashore late Monday and was due to pass south of Manila—home to some 13 million people—and thousands of athletes at the regional Southeast Asian Games.Forecasters said Tisoy had weakened but remained strong, with sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour, and maximum gusts of 205 kph as it tracked northwest.“We’re still assessing the damage but it looks like it’s severe,” said Luisito Mendoza, a disaster official in the town where the storm made landfall.“There is one place where water levels reached the roof… our own personnel got hit by shattered glass,” he added, saying many trees and power poles were felled by wind.Due to the high winds, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was closed for 12 hours, airport authority general manager Ed Monreal said.
NAIA resumed normal operation at 11 p.m. yesterday.“Priority will be given to scheduled flights arriving or departing from 11 p.m. onward,” Monreal said.Nearly 500 flights were cancelled, and officials warned passengers not to come to the airport.One traveler, 23-year-old Canadian Constance Benoit, was hit with a nearly day-long delay to her flight back home.She had arrived in Manila on a typhoon-buffeted flight Monday morning from the central island of Cebu.
“It was the most turbulent flight I ever took in my life,” she said.“I just discovered what airsickness is.”Monreal appealed to travelers to just stay in their homes and avoid going to the airport and advised them to closely coordinate with their airline carriers for information concerning their flights.About 340,000 people had been evacuated from their homes in the central Bicol region, disaster officials said.People living in low-lying slum districts of Manila were told to leave their makeshift homes as a precaution, but it was not clear how many people were affected.The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council announced that a total of 57,918 families or equivalent to 225,768 persons from the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Calabarzon and Mimaropa were preemptively evacuated.The NDRRMC also reported that a total of 6,557 passengers, 1,506 rolling cargoes, 138 vessels, and 66 motorize bancas were stranded in different ports nationwide.A total of 22 houses were damaged in Region V and the Cordillera Administrative Region.NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said aside from medical teams, police and soldiers were deployed in typhoon-hit areas to help maintain law and order.Tisoy had already snarled some plans for the SEA Games, which opened Saturday and are set to run through Dec. 11 in and around Manila.The windsurfing competition was halted as a precaution and triathlon events were held earlier than scheduled.Ramon Suzara, the chief operating officer of the organizing committee, said Monday organizers wanted the competitions to go on.“Like [for] volleyball, it will continue as long as there is power supply and teams and technical officials are safe, we will continue but without spectators,” he added.The storm is another difficulty for the Games, which suffered from a string logistical glitches and a rush of last-minute construction in the run-up to Saturday’s opening.In Eastern Visayas on Tuesday, the total number of evacuees has reached 21,992 in 1,196 evacuation centers while the number of persons stranded was 1,871, mostly in Allen and San Isidro ports in Northern Samar.As of Tuesday morning, eight roads were not passable due to flooding and landslides, said Lt. Col. Ma. Bella Rentuaya, spokesperson for the police regional office for Eastern Visayas.At least 70 towns around the region have no electricity, Rentuaya added.The National Electrification Administration said it was prepared to mobilize electric cooperative line workers under to assist in restoring power.Federico Villar, Jr., acting director of the NEA Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department, said at least 29 electric cooperatives experienced power cuts during the height of the storm.More than P12.2 million worth of donations will further boost the capability of the Philippine Red Cross as it braced for the onslaught of typhoon Tisoy across the nation, said Senator Richard J. Gordon, also chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross.
Gordon said the response and rescue vehicles and equipment were the new additions to the response and rescue fleet. With Macon Ramos-Araneta, AFP, and PNA
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