‘Dindo’ brings heavy rains in northern Luzon; liquor ban upInquirer Northern Luzon
The rains swelled rivers and triggered landslides in Ilocos Norte, while the governor of Isabela took a step further in preventing storm-related deaths by imposing a liquor ban after noting that drowning cases in past calamities were drunk.
Tropical Storm “Dindo” (international name: Doksuri), packing peak winds of 75 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 90 kph, was expected to make landfall in the Calayan and Babuyan groups of islands last night and could further intensify, weather officials told reporters in a briefing Thursday afternoon.
The storm was moving west-northwest at 19 kph.
Dindo was expected to swirl out of the Philippine area of responsibility Saturday morning toward southern China, but would induce monsoon rains over the western parts of Luzon and the Visayas, forecaster Chris Perez said.
On Friday, Dindo is expected to bring occasional rains over other parts of northern and central Luzon, including Metro Manila.
At 5 p.m. Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised Storm Signal No. 2 in Cagayan, the Calayan, Babuyan and Batanes island groups, Apayao and Ilocos Norte.
Storm Signal No. 1 was hoisted in Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, Ifugao, La Union, Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.
Classes in private and public preschools and elementary schools were canceled in the Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley regions.
In Isabela, Governor Faustino Dy III directed village officials to lead the implementation of the liquor ban and ensure observance by residents to avoid fines or possible imprisonment.
Water level at the Magat Dam in Ramon town was recorded at 183.80 meters above sea level (masl), still below the critical 193 masl.
In Ilocos Norte, rivers swelled in Bangui town, landslides occurred in Pagudpud town and flash floods hit Laoag City and the towns of Bacarra, San Nicolas and Pasuquin towns.
Two fishermen were reported missing off Barangay La Paz in Laoag but were able to reach shore yesterday afternoon.
Larry Antonio and Resty Patoc were fishing with a group at the La Paz Bay at 3:30 a.m., but they did not return to shore until 1:30 p.m., according to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
No river travel
In Cagayan, officials monitoring boats and barges traveling along the Cagayan River in Lallo town stopped river travel due to bad weather and an expected rise in the river’s water level.
Carlo Mabborang said a contractor, RD Interior Junior Construction, suspended ferry services starting at 9 a.m.
Charlie Saludez, a member of Cagayan’s Rescue 29, said drastic changes in the water level were expected in the next 12 hours when runoff waters from Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela flow toward the sea through the river.
Government employees, college students and other passengers who gathered at the dock early yesterday were forced to go home after ferry services were canceled.
River travel will resume when the water level goes back to normal, said Bonifacio Corteros, provincial disaster risk reduction and management office planning and research head.
Rock slides threat
In the Cordillera, local officials asked people in the upland villages to steer clear of hills or mountain roads that are vulnerable to rock slides during strong rains.
The region experienced light to moderate rains yesterday morning.
Workers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have been stationed near major mountain roads, while small scale mining operations were suspended in Benguet, said the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
At 8 a.m., a landslide stalled traffic along the Kabayan-Buguias-Abatan Road, the OCD reported.
The DPWH also suspended repair work on the Sabangan bridge in Mt. Province, which is closed to traffic.
While the three major routes to and from Baguio City were open to vehicles despite the rains, officials asked motorists to use Marcos Highway, instead of Kennon Road.
Naguilian Road was open to all types of vehicles going to and coming from the Ilocos.
Pagasa was also monitoring a low-pressure area east of Mindanao that was forecast to enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday. Villamor Visaya Jr., Cristina Arzadon, Vaughn Alviar and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; and TJ Burgonio in Manila