Thousands evacuated as Ulysses dumps heavy rain over Bicol
LEGAZPI CITY –– Even as the Bicol provinces are still trying to recover from the devastation wrought by Typhoon “Rolly,” disaster authorities have again pre-emptively evacuated thousands of residents on Tuesday and early Wednesday, with several areas threatened by severe Tropical Storm “Ulysses,” which has been bringing heavy rain to the region since Tuesday night.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol reported that as of 8 p.m Tuesday, 19,553 families (79,370 people), who live in low-lying areas, were moved to safer grounds.
OCD Bicol spokesperson Gremil Alexis Naz said the initial evacuation was reported in Camarines Sur with 17,318 families (71,576 people); Albay – 1,151 families (4,000 people); and Catanduanes – 1,084 families (3,794 people).
In Albay, the number of persons to be evacuated in areas prone to lahar flow and flooding was expected to double in the wake of last week’s lahar avalanche and lahar flows that buried nearly 200 houses and establishments in the towns of Guinobatan and Daraga.
The Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) said 125 villages in the province situated around Mount Mayon were at risk from lahar and mud flows, 253 low-lying villages at risk from flooding, and 116 villages prone to landslides.
At 7 a.m. today, the center of Ulysses was estimated at 135 km north northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 350 km east of Infanta, Quezon, packing a maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 135 kph, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Pagasa has hoisted Storm Signal Number 2 over the central and southern portions of Quirino (Maddela, Cabarroguis, Aglipay, Nagtipunan), the central and southern portions of Nueva Vizcaya (Kasibu, Bambang, Kayapa, Dupax Del Norte, Dupax Del Sur, Aritao, Santa Fe, Alfonso Castaneda), the southern portion of Benguet (Bokod, Itogon, Tublay, La Trinidad, Sablan, Baguio City, Tuba), the southern portion of La Union (Burgos, Naguilian, Bauang, Caba, Aringay, Tubao, Pugo, Santo Tomas, Rosario, Agoo), Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bulacan, Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Quezon including Polillo Islands, Marinduque, the northern portion of Occidental Mindoro (Paluan, Abra de Ilog) including Lubang Island, the northern portion of Oriental Mindoro (Pola, Victoria, Naujan, Baco, Calapan City, San Teodoro, Puerto Galera), Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Burias and Ticao Islands.
Under Storm Signal Number 1 are Isabela, the rest of Quirino, the rest of Nueva Vizcaya, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, the rest of Benguet, Abra, Ilocos Sur, the rest of La Union, the rest of Occidental Mindoro, the rest of Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, and the rest of Masbate — all in Luzon; and Northern Samar, the northern portion of Samar (Santo Nino, Almagro, Tagapul-An, Tarangnan, Calbayog City, Santa Margarita, Gandara, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, San Jose de Buan, Matuguinao), and the northern portion of Eastern Samar (Maslog, Dolores, Oras, San Policarpo, Arteche, Jipapad) – all in the Visayas.
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