MANILA, Philippines – Storm surges up to two meters are possible over the eastern coast of Isabela and Cagayan on Sunday, May 10, due to Typhoon Dodong (international codename Noul), according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC). (Storm Surge 101: Are you at risk? Are you prepared for it?)
“Hindi lamang lakas ng hangin kailangan bantayan – baha, landslides, storm surges, din,” warned USEC Alexander Pama. (Aside from the wind, the public should also prepare for possible flooding, landslides, and storm surges)
In line with this, the agency identified highly susceptible barangays in Sta. Ana, Cagaya. Landslide barangays include Patunungan, Santa Cruz, Casambalangan, Rapuli, Santa Clara, Dungeg, Marede, Casagan, Santa Vicente, and Tangatan.
NDRRMC identified the following barangays as flood-prone:
- Santa Cruz
- Santa Clara
- Batu Parada
- San Vicente
Public storm warning signal number 4 is hoisted over 4 areas – Northeastern Cagayan, Batanes, Babuyan, and Calayan Group of Islands – as Dodong moved closer towards Cagayan Valley.
More than 2,000 people in Cagayan were being evacuated from coastal villages, said Norma Talosig, regional civil defence chief.
“They have to evacuate to higher ground, not in their village. They are being assisted by the local governments using buses and trucks, even ambulances,” she told Agence France Presse.
Possible impacts of Dodong to areas under public storm signal number 4 include: very heavy damage to high-risk structures, unroofing of many houses of medium-built materials, coconut plantation may suffer extensive damage, and rice plantation may suffer severe losses.
Dodong is expected to hit land in Santa Ana, Cagayan, Sunday afternoon, or early evening.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 220 km/h, the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center has labeled Dodong a super typhoon.
According to NDRRMC, heavy to intense rainfall is expected within the 150 km diameter of the typhoon.
NDRRMC also alerted residents in low-lying and mountainous areas of the province with public storm warning signals against possible flash floods, and landslides. Fisherfolk are also advised not to venture out over the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon.
Dodong is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility morning of Tuesday, May 12.
“Even as we speak, our armed forces are already moving… to help in the evacuation. So too are our police forces who are conducting evacuations in their municipalities,” Pama told reporters.
Several hundred people living in a farming hamlet below the restive Bulusan volcano in Luzon have also been evacuated due to the potential for rain to mix with volcanic ash accumulated on its slopes and form deadly, fast-moving mudflows.
The government suspended ferry services in affected areas and some domestic flights have also been cancelled. – with a report from Jed Alegado and Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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