Philippines braces for Typhoon ‘Quiel’ today


LIFELINE HOTLINE. A rescue worker carries a flood victim on his shoulders in Hagonoy, Bulacan province, on Friday. Officials and residents pin blame for the flooding on the release of excess waters from Angat Dam. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

There will be no rest for the flood-weary.

Typhoon “Quiel” (international name: Nalgae) on Friday gained strength and expanse as it hurtled toward Luzon, threatening the northern and central regions, the very same regions barely  recovering from Typhoon “Pedring,” with more rains and floods and disrupting reconstruction efforts.

In Malacanañg, President Benigno Aquino III called on Filipinos to heed authorities’ instructions to move away from danger.

He said the relief and recovery efforts addressed to the effects of Pedring would continue even as the country was preparing for Quiel’s impact.

Graciano Yumul Jr., the Department of Science and Technology undersecretary overseeing Pagasa, expressed worry that Quiel would hit land early today (Saturday) while everybody was asleep.

“From the forecast, the storm will make landfall in the morning, at around 8 am. But there is also the possibility that it will come earlier, at dawn, so it is important for residents of northern Luzon to be more careful,” he said, adding:

“Likewise, those living in coastal areas are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone.”

Robert Sawi, chief forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said at a briefing on Friday that Quiel was expected to ravage northern Luzon starting today until Sunday, when it would leave the mainland through Ilocos Norte.

“Quiel is expected to make landfall in Cagayan-Isabela and we expect it to grow stronger,” Sawi said, adding that the typhoon’s winds were moving at 140 kilometers per hour near the center and gusting at 170 kph.

Weather officials also described the typhoon, which was spotted at 490 km east of Tuguegarao City as of 4 p.m. Friday, as compact, fast-moving and traveling west at 26 kph.

500-km diameter

Pagasa moved its usual press briefing to 4 p.m. from 5 p.m. Friday as Quiel churned across the seas.

Yumul said Quiel was expected to increase the hazards in northern and central Luzon, where towns and villages are still swamped by floodwaters.

Quiel now has a diameter of 500 km, growing from 400 km measured yesterday morning. Its rain band, which contains 15-25 millimeters of rain per hour, will cover the entire north Luzon, weather models showed.

Yumul said it was important for residents in flood- and landslide-prone areas to heed evacuation orders from local government officials.

Pedring damaged crop lands and residential areas when it hit Central Luzon and Metro Manila early this week. Its fierce winds, which reached 150 kph, also downed power lines and destroyed infrastructure.

The rains from Pedring also forced major dams in Luzon to release water, worsening the floods.

Saturation point

Yumul warned residents of the affected regions of more floods and landslides over the weekend, and urged them to move to safe ground.

“The land is so saturated with water already. If it cannot absorb it anymore, there would be more flash floods and landslides,” he said.

As of Friday, Storm Signal No. 3 has been raised over Cagayan and Isabela; Signal No. 2 over northern Aurora, Quirino, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Kalinga, Apayao, Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands; and Signal No. 1 over the rest of Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Abra.

The rest of the country will experience rains from the southwest monsoon, which is expected to intensify when Quiel exits Luzon, Sawi said.

“The model output showed that on Friday night, the eye of Quiel will be pushing closer to the mainland. We will be seeing isolated rain showers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

The managers of the nine major dams scattered all over Luzon will receive rainfall from Friday until Saturday due to Quiel and the southwest monsoon, Pagasa said.

Yumul said that as far as Pagasa was concerned, correct information had been sent to the dam managers on the amount of rainfall that would hit their areas.

He said it was not Pagasa’s duty to say when the dam gates should be opened. “We only provide technical information,” he said.

Risk reduction

In a statement released late Friday afternoon, the President said:

“Relief and recovery from Pedring will be a priority and a continuing effort even as we brace our respective communities for the potentially more damaging onslaught of Quiel. I therefore ask our fellow citizens to heed our national and local authorities so that we can all achieve our common goal in disaster risk reduction.”

“Let me emphasize: We need to move all those in danger. In particular, let us help each other persuade fisherfolk and residents of coastal, low-lying and mountainous areas to be on alert and be extra cautious. Let us keep the spirit of bayanihan alive by showing our concern for the more vulnerable sectors.”

Mr. Aquino said that with Pedring’s onslaught and Quiel’s anticipated effects, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had been taking all necessary precautions from early warning and preemptive evacuation to ongoing relief and recovery operations.

He said that through the directive of the council’s chair, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the Armed Forces Disaster Response Task Force had deployed additional search-and-rescue units from the Army, Navy and Air Force, including six helicopters in flooded areas in Central Luzon.

Mr. Aquino also said Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino has sent a 14-member team with equipment to Bulacan.

He added that “all relevant agencies of government are performing their respective mandates effectively,” and that “local government units have also been performing their duties.” With a report from Norman Bordadora

First posted 12:37 am | Saturday, October 1st, 2011

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  • Nelson

    The Philippines is hit by 2 typhoons in a week’s time. It’s very sad. But it’s more sad and tragic to know that only 3M left in the calamity fund of the president. Why? Because Pnoy donated 1M USD to Japan for the earthquake victims. Pakitang-tao ang presidente nyo ano?

    • miguel

      And what do you suggest we do? Ask the Japanese government to return the aid? Sa palagay mo ba alam ni Pnoy na darating ang dalawang magkasunod na bagyo at kakailanganin natin ang pera ngayon? Think before you make inflammatory comments. I’m sure the Japanese people who were helped by that aid from the Philippines are truly grateful and do not consider it as “pakitang-tao.”  

      • Nelson

        Pnoy and you are both stupid. Don’t you know that the Philippines is perennially beset with typhoons and
        all sorts of natural and man-nade disasters? Don’t you have foresight? No father in his right mind would give his children’s meal to the dogs…

      • Nora

        Tama ka Miguel, lahat naman hindi iniexpect ang 2 magkasunod na bagyo, sino ba  ang gugustuhin na danasin natin yan ?.Ang dapat nalang gawin eh magtulungan at hindi magsisihan.Dapat nga maging proud tayo sa Presidente natin kasi hindi sya nagbulag bulagan sa nangyari sa Japan. Kung sa Pinas kaya nangyari ang nangyari sa Japan ? Yung walang maicomment na maganda manahimik at wag isisi lahat sa Administrasyon. Kung ayaw nyo manahimik, lumabas kayo sa mga bahay nyo at tumulong sa pagrescue, im sure maraming matutuwa sa inyo. Blame kayo ke ganun blame kayo ke ganito, kayo nalang ang maging sila.

    • Anonymous

      lahat naman po ng bansa ay may kanya-kanyang suliraning kinakaharap, be it political, socio-political, or socio-economic in nature. BUT that should not stop the(ir) government from helping other countries lalo na kung ang binigyan ng tulong ay ‘kapitbahay’ na laging bukas-palad sa pagbibigay ng donations sa mga panahon ng sakuna(calamities) o kahit sa mga ordinaryong suliranin lang. Di naman po siguro dapat na lagi na lang tayong ‘tumatanggap’ ng tulong mula sa ibang bansa. Paminsan-minsan, kelangan po matuto tayong magbigay o suklian ang tulong nang iba :)

      • Anonymous

        There International Body Community that the  Government can seek aids from.. but until they made it offical, such community is helpless  to aid such as medications, blankets, foods etc ,  And from what i heard was the Government wanted to handle on its own first. i dont know how true it is.

    • Nora

      Epal ka rin ano ? sa pananalita mo parang di mo Presidente . Pasalamat ka hindi sa Pilipinas nangyari ang nangyari sa Japan. Palibhasa mukha kang makasarili. Dapat ikaw nalang ang mag Presidente. O di kaya manahimik ka nalang. Di ka tin naman nakakatulong. SIGH………………….

  • Anonymous

    Disabled or injured siguro ‘yung buhat ng rescuer. O ayaw lang mabasa.

  • Rocky, Rocks

    Whew! That’s one biggie after the other

  • a

    the 1million USD donation is peanuts compared to the 21B pesos earmarked for his CCT program.  The CCT or poverty-alleviation project is just literally giving money away to the poor without any concrete return.  Better to have used the money for projects like housing, classrooms, job-generation, not to mention how it could have been used to help in situations such as what our countrymen in Central Luzon are now experiencing.
    I guess this administration only believes in giving man fish to eat for today, rather than teaching him how to fish and feed him (and his family) for the rest of his life.

  • a

    isa lang napansin ko. looking at all the video images showing the extensive flooding in Bulacan and Pampanga (parang shades of New Orleans nuong hurricane Katrina), i still have to see the presence of any representative of the national government taking charge of the relief effort.  i don’t know if it just because of their policy of keeping a low profile, but clearly the local and provincial government units are overwhelmed by the extent of the disaster, and they desperately need leadership coming from the administration.  Noong panahon ng Ondoy, people were quick to criticize NDCC and Gibo in particular for not doing enough, but at least (kahit pakitang tao lang) we could see them on their toes and working.  for this present crisis, all i get from this admin and its NDRRMC are sound bites.

    • Anonymous

      Sila po ay halos hindi na nagpapahinga.  Usec Ramos is on top of the situattion kahit part sa problema sa pangyayari ay ang kakulangan ng COMMON SENSE sa mga caretakers ng ating mga dam  

    • jayvee

      Tapos nagmamalaki pa sila nung una na prepared daw lahat ng gov’t agencies…even before Pedring unleashed its fury in Luzon…PR agad e wala pa ngang nangyayari, after umalis nung bagyo, kitang kita na hindi pa rin pala handa ang gobyerno sa mga ganitong bagyo. 

  • Anonymous

    sa lalong madaling panahon, dapat ang phil govt kasama ang LGU ay mag-construct ng permanent typhoon/flood evacuation shelter sa bawat city o municipality na parating binabayo ng bagyo at baha. di lang yan, kailangan i-institutionalize ang kahandaan ng bawat agencies involved para maiwasan ang chaos sa part ng typhoon/flood victims at gayon din sa mga government personnel na tututok sa pangangailangan ng typhoon/flood evacuation shelter sa bawat lugar. orderly evacuation at orderly support plus political will ng namumuno ay malaking factor para ma-achieve ang zero casualty kapag may bagyo at baha.

  • CrocLolong


  • Anonymous

    Noong bata pa ako, sa Samar palagi dumadaan ang bagyo based on news reports (am not from Samar). Ngayong malaki na ako Luzon na ang route nyang mga bagyo na nyan! But that province remains one of the less developed provinces in the archipelago…  So it’s not a test on who stands and remain standing after any havoc done by nature itself, its the inner self character – DISCIPLINE! – that lasts… Let NATURE educate us. Let’s learn how the ants labor everyday – they toil day and night…  

    • Anonymous

      I am from quezon and I experienced one of the strongest typhoon, ROSING way back in 1995. Based on my experience, during the monsoon months (june-sept) ang mga bagyo usually naglalandfall sa northern part ng philippines (aurora, isabela, cagayan). But pagdating ng October -December (Amihan), ang mga bagyo naglalandfall sa eastern part (samar-catanduanes and bicol region) kaya expect mo na ung mga susunod na typhoon sa area n yan magllandfall.

      • Anonymous

        For a 30-40 years span (not fluctuations within a year), the ‘average route’ in the archipelagic Phil. is changing. Before, not two but three seasons ang Samar province: (1) dry, (2) wet, (3) and very wet seasons. Years now, dalawa na lang! The first two (2)…Toinks… 

  • Anonymous

    HEADLINE: OFFICIALS (what?) and residents pin blame for the flooding on the
    release of excess waters from Angat Dam.

    It’s basic, a Dam was designed to hold a maximum level of water only, and when
    the water  reached maximum level, the
    excess need to be released to avoid catastrophy. It’s not highly technical. Usually
    a Spillway (or channel) included in the dam design so that the release of water
    is regulated.In layman term, if a Dam can no longer hold the water it might
    burst. Technical people designed the dam for the optimum level only. Information
    dissemination is the key and not to blame the dam per se (e.g. San Roque &
    Angat Dam) everytime there’s a flood and calamity. Like volcano, there should
    be an alert / notice of release for dams, kahit na mi permanent danger zone ang
    mga ito. People must be aware both the advantages and disadvantages of the structures.
    Thus, for the sake of argument, no Dam means, no Drinking Water, reduced Electric
    Power and Irrigation water during dry season, as in the case of Angat Dams. (under
     MWSS, NPC & NIA).Anticipating 20+
    typhoons a year, what’s lacking in the news is the HIGHT & LOW TIDE time
    and duration of the day, I believe this is  more significant information. I  hav’nt seen a calendar lately with High and
    Low tide indicators. Is the PAGASA/NDRC, and the government is aware of this
    relevant information? Kahit man lang mga flood prone Municipalities at Barangays
    ay mabigyan. Low tide is the best time to evacuate and the regulated release of
    water from the Dam. Remember, when it rain, it pours, and all rivers and
    esteros lead to the sea. But, Sea water backflow in the esteros and rivers
    during high tide. I can only conclude, that it’s high tide when the Manila bay  (Roxas Blvd) was severely damaged by Typhoon

    Again, Information of dissemination is the key, at kailangang lang pa
    ulit-ulit talaga to minimize damages.Hope the media will help on this relevant
    informations, notices and Risk/life saving precautions at NO COST to the government.
    Mag tulungan tayo…wag blame ng blame.

  • J

    Can we curse on Mother Nature with her fury on what the human race done! Off-course not.
    Can’t emphasize enough. Stop illegal logging. Plant trees. Put out your trash properly. Let’s make use of energy more efficient.
    Be efficient, reuse, recycle, use less!

  • labcu

    The Weather Channel made news/commentary on the photos of floating DPWH officials faking as if inspecting the ruins at Roxas blvd baywalk. It has been viewed allover the US and the world. How can we sell our country as a tourism destination if top ranking officials can make open lies not only to the Filipino people but to the whole world!

  • Banana Na

    papaano itong bansa magiging TIGER ECONOMY,binabaha na ang kalapit bahagi ng MANILA, dapat dyan wag ninyo iboto ang mga mayor, vice mayor, congressman at senator sa lugar ninyo…isa lang ang pagkakamali doon kay ONDOY, tapos ngayon ganoon pa rin, palitan mo na mga ito, walang silbi…o gusto ninyo ganoon na lang ang situasyon ninyo sa lugar na ito…kapag may BAGYO ay parang VENICE ang lugar ninyo…

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