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LUZON, E. VISAYAS IN STORM’S PATH

‘Jenny’ intensifies; Metro Manila classes called off

Disaster response teams were deployed and school was called off in provinces on the eastern side of Luzon and in Eastern Visayas as Tropical Storm “Jenny” (international name: Podul) headed toward land on Tuesday.

All sea voyages were halted in eastern waters and 10 flights were canceled at Manila’s international airport due to bad weather caused by Jenny, which gained strength and speed as it bore down on eastern Luzon.

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The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the storm was likely to make landfall in Aurora province between 9 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Wednesday.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jenny was 290 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon province, moving west-northwest at 35 km per hour with sustained winds of up to 65 kph and gustiness of up to 80 kph, according to Pagasa weather forecaster Jaime Bordales Jr.

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Signal No. 2

The weather service raised storm signal No. 2 in the provinces of Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao and Mountain Province.

It earlier raised signal No. 1 in Cagayan, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Metro Manila, Rizal, the northern part of Quezon (including Polillo Island) and Alabat Island, Cavite, Laguna, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes and the northeastern part of Camarines Sur.

School was called off in Metro Manila on Tuesday in anticipation of heavy rain and flooding, but the capital only had light rain and overcast skies.

Asked why signal No. 1 was raised in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces despite relatively better weather, Bordales said there was still “a level of uncertainty” in forecasting. But the forecast for the capital, made late Monday, was for 36 hours, he said.

“It is also part of the protocol of [local governments] to give lead time when there is a weather disturbance,” Bordales said. “They also need to mobilize services, and perhaps that’s why most of them decided to call off school.”

Moderate to heavy rain was expected in Metro Manila on Tuesday evening.

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Out by Thursday

Jenny is expected to blow out of the Philippines by Thursday afternoon, but some parts of western Luzon—including Bataan, Zambales and Pangasinan—would continue to be drenched by the storm’s outer rain bands and the enhanced southwest monsoon.

As Jenny approached on Tuesday, Isabela deployed disaster response teams in anticipation of floods and landslides.

The local government of Cauayan stopped fishermen from going out to sea and banned the sale of liquor.

Gov. Rodolfo Albano III suspended classes at all levels due to incessant rain.

In Ilocos Norte, which was battered by Tropical Storm “Ineng” (international name: Bailu) last week, assistance from both the government and the private sectors continued to arrive on Tuesday.

In Bulacan, heavy rain shuttered schools in the towns of Calumpit, Paombong, Pulilan, Hagonoy and San Miguel.

The river in Santa Maria breached its banks, damaging the Macaiban bridge.

In Eastern Visayas, Biliran, Leyte and Samar provinces kept schools closed as Jenny headed for land.

The Coast Guard in Cebu City and in Western Visayas watched out for strong winds, ready to shut down the port if the weather turned worse. —REPORTS FROM PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU, JEROME ANING, VILLAMOR VISAYA JR., LEILANI ADRIANO, CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE, JOEY GABIETA, ROBERT DEJON AND NESTLE SEMILLA

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TAGS: Pagasa, Podul, Tropical Storm Jenny
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