Super Typhoon Egay pummels Northern Luzon
A weakening trend may begin due to increasing interaction with the rugged terrain of northern Luzon and Taiwan Super Typhoon Egay (international name: Doksuri) maintained its strength on Tuesday as it pummeled provinces in Luzon, with strong winds blowing off rooftops and heavy rains causing floods that affected residents in at least five regions.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), in its 5 p.m. bulletin, said Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 5 was raised over the eastern portion of Babuyan Islands (Camiguin Island).
It said TCWS No. 4 was raised over the northern portion of Cagayan (Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Claveria, Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulug, Ballesteros, Aparri, Buguey, Sta. Teresita, Camalaniugan and Sta. Praxedes) and the rest of Babuyan Islands.
TCWS No. 3 was hoisted over the northeastern portion of Isabela (Divilacan, Maconacon, Palanan, Sta. Maria, San Pablo, Sto. Tomas, Cabagan, Tumauini), the rest of Cagayan, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, the northern portion of Kalinga (Rizal, Pinukpuk, Balbalan), Batanes and the northern portion of Abra (Tineg, Lagayan, Lacub, Danglas).
The weather bureau raised TCWS No. 2 over other parts of northern Luzon while TCWS No. 1 was issued in parts of Central and Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila.
Reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Tuesday said 4,554 families (almost 17,000 people) were displaced by Egay and the southwest monsoon (“habagat”) in Ilocos, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Bicol, Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao regions.
In its 5 p.m. bulletin on Tuesday, Pagasa said the center of the eye of Egay was estimated at 190 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan. It was moving northwestward at 20 km per hour and with maximum sustained winds of 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph.
“Egay is forecast to move west-northwestward in the next 24 hours before turning generally northwestward and cross the Luzon Strait. On the track forecast, it is forecast to make landfall or pass very close to Babuyan Islands—northeastern mainland Cagayan area between late evening (Tuesday) and (Wednesday) morning,” the weather bureau said.
After passing the Babuyan Islands, Pagasa said Egay would turn northwestward or north-northwestward and pass over the waters south of Taiwan. It is forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday morning.
“Egay is nearing its peak intensity. A short window of high favorable environment in the near term will allow it to either maintain its intensity in the next 12 hours. Afterward, a weakening trend may begin due to increasing interaction with the rugged terrain of northern Luzon and Taiwan,” Pagasa said.
Photos released by the provincial government of Batanes showed residents securing their houses and other structures with ropes and other materials, and putting up storm shutters in preparation for the typhoon. Small fishing boats were also taken to higher grounds as they braced for Egay’s impact.
“Bayanihan” (community spirit) continues in the local government, other agencies, volunteer groups and the community to ensure that Batanes is ready for the typhoon,” the provincial government said in its Facebook post.
In Palawan province, at least 376 families in the city of Puerto Princesa were evacuated due to widespread flooding, reports from the city disaster risk reduction and management office (CDRRMO) showed.
The CDRRMO said some rivers in the northern part of Puerto Princesa overflowed and topped bridges. Personnel from the city government and the Department of Public Works and Highways cleared roads covered with thick mud and other debris, including fallen trees in the villages of Tagabinet and Cabayugan.
In Bicol, at least 39 families were also evacuated in the region due to heavy rains, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said.
Sea travel in Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, and most of the Bicol region was suspended by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) after Pagasa issued a gale warning due to rough seas.
As of Tuesday noon, 6,716 passengers, 1,226 rolling cargos and 32 vessels were stranded in ports in Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon and Camarines Sur, the OCD Bicol said.
There were no reports of stranded passengers in ports in Palawan and Occidental Mindoro.
In Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, the PCG reported on Tuesday that their personnel rescued 518 residents from flood-hit Sitio Pandan in Barangay Claudio Salgado on Monday night.
Local governments in the Visayas started implementing precautionary measures to prevent casualties and property damage due to Egay’s impact.
In Negros Occidental, at least 4,466 families were evacuated due to nonstop rains and strong winds, according to the OCD.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson suspended work from Tuesday noon and provided government vehicles to take employees home.In Eastern Visayas, at least 2,629 passengers bound for Luzon and Mindanao remain stranded in various ports in Northern Samar and Southern Leyte. Some sea trips were also canceled in Cebu.