| 7 die as ‘Mina’ veers north; new storm threatens RP
| Monday, November 26, 2007
|7 die as ‘Mina’ veers north; new storm threatens RP
Seven people have been killed and tens of thousands evacuated their homes as Typhoon “Mina” approaches eastern Philippines, officials said Sunday.
Meanwhile, another typhoon is set to enter the Philippine area of responsibility, and “Lando,” a typhoon that lashed the country before Mina, is veering back into the country, forecasters said Sunday.
The country remained on full alert in anticipation of Mina as it headed toward northern Luzon. The typhoon is expected to make landfall Sunday night.
Mina had spared Bicol and moved further in a northwest direction Saturday toward Aurora and Isabela provinces Saturday night.
The storm had weakened but was still packing maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour, with gusts of 195 kilometers per hour as of Sunday.
Another weather disturbance is threatening the Philippines, according to reports aired on dzMM radio Sunday. Dr. Prisco Nilo, director of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said the new weather disturbance has been named “Nonoy” and is expected to reach the Philippine area of responsibility in three to four days.
Nilo said Nonoy might join with Typhoon Lando (international codename Hagibis) before it exits via the Philippine Sea toward Japan.
He added that Lando is expected to bring rainfall over Western Visayas, Palawan, southern Panay, northern Negros island, northern Cebu, central Leyte, Mindoro, Aklan and Romblon.
Back to Mina
The National Disaster Coordinating Council, which coordinates antidisaster efforts by several government agencies, said on Saturday some 100,000 people in the northeastern part of the country would be evacuated.
The council also said floods caused by heavy rains in some parts of the country had affected some 28,000 people in southern Luzon and Palawan.
The civil defense office in Manila said at least 298,000 people had evacuated their homes in six southern provinces to avoid flash floods, landslides or volcanic mudslides that could be triggered by Mina.
Six people drowned and one was electrocuted by a fallen power line in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, where the initial effects of Mina are being felt, the regional disaster office reported.
Governor Joey Sarte Salceda of Albay and Governor Joseph Cua of Catanduanes have declared a state of calamity in their respective provinces.
Earlier, President Gloria Arroyo ordered a “pre-emptive evacuation” in vulnerable areas to avoid a repeat of the disaster last year when typhoon Durian struck the Bicol peninsula, killing about 1,200 people and leaving 200,000 homeless.
Some people there were already returning home on Sunday because the typhoon had changed course, said a civil defense office director.
Metro Manila and environs
Metro Manila is also readying itself for Mina and new storm Nonoy.
In Makati City, Mayor Jejomar Binay forbade rescue teams from taking a leave during the weekend, while rescue teams and equipment remained stationed at Manila Bay facing downtown Manila.
Rizal Police Chief Supt. Ireneo Dordas said they will be monitoring Antipolo, San Mateo and Pililia, where a landslide occurred.
Gov. Casimiro Ynares 3rd of Rizal has ordered evacuations in the mountainous towns of San Mateo and Pililia, and activated the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council to monitor the communities near the mountains.
Earlier, Mayor Benhur Abalos of Mandaluyong City said he had ordered the removal of billboards along EDSA since Wednesday. City workers, he said, have been dredging and cleaning the ditches in the flood-prone areas like the stretch of EDSA near Ortigas and Maysilo Circle.
In Pasig City, Mayor Robert Eusebio said they have identified schools that will serve as evacuation areas, if needed. Rescue and engineering teams were also on stand-by during the whole weekend in the three cities.
The state-grid National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) has put its personnel and facilities under high alert in preparation for the onslaught of Mina. It has pre-positioned all its transmission line crews and power restoration equipment in strategic areas in eastern Luzon.
Arthur N. Aguilar, TransCo president and CEO, said officials and personnel in substations, telecommunications facilities, and area control centers as well as security and aviation crews will all be on standby to be able to immediately conduct necessary power restoration activities.
TransCo has also coordinated with electric cooperatives to hasten possible electricity restoration works.
TransCo’s area control centers nationwide are also prepared to undertake immediate “islanding operations” or power restoration activities independent of each other.
TransCo will also reroute power flow using its transmission lines to maximize the operation of power plants located in unaffected areas and reduce possibility of outages arising from typhoon-damaged power facilities.
The Manila Electric Co. said in a statement that it has put in place necessary measures to mitigate the potential effects of Mina.
|posted by Moderator Londen time 12:25 PM