‘Jenny’ intensifies, to enhance southwest monsoon
Seven provinces in Luzon were placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 as Typhoon “Jenny” (international name: Koinu) continued to intensify while moving northwestward over the Philippine Sea, the state weather bureau said in its latest bulletin on Monday afternoon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) also said the typhoon would continue to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring occasional to monsoon rains over the western portions of Central Luzon, southern Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao in the next three days.
The eye of the storm was last spotted 485 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes province, with maximum sustained winds of 155 km per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 190 kph. Jenny continued to move northwestward at 15 kph.
The typhoon was not projected to make landfall, but Signal No. 1, the lowest in the five-signal category, has been raised over Batanes, Cagayan including the Babuyan Islands, the northern and eastern portions of Isabela, Apayao, the northern and central portions of Ilocos Norte, the northeast portion of Abra and the northern portion of Kalinga.
In a press briefing on Monday, Pagasa weather specialist Benison Estareja said Jenny was expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday night to Friday morning.
In the country’s northernmost town of Itbayat and in the rest of Batanes, classes in grade school and high school were suspended in compliance with a directive by the Department of Education regarding class suspensions in anticipation of a calamity, Itbayat Mayor Sabas de Sagon said.
Kathleen Garcia, municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer in Itbayat, said emergency responders had been deployed to secure public buildings and help local fisherfolk move their boats to higher ground.
Garcia said a “bandillo” (town crier) was tasked with alerting residents in remote areas, particularly Sitio Yawran and Barangay Raele, of the possible impact of the typhoon.
Classes in the northern part of Cagayan province were also suspended.
Meanwhile, the United States Embassy said in a statement on Monday that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) would provide more than P450 million to strengthen disaster preparedness and response in vulnerable communities, particularly in the Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Caraga regions.
USAID “will also fund partnerships with the private sector to help ensure the continuity of businesses and other critical services, such as energy and water, after disasters,” the embassy said.
The humanitarian agency will help train personnel of the Office of Civil Defense, Department of Information and Communications Technology and Department of Social Welfare and Development, among others, in setting up postdisaster logistics, emergency shelters and emergency telecommunications.
USAID will also work with local governments in Eastern Samar and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to set up referral systems for children’s welfare and protection during disasters.
“We are proud of our partnership with the Philippine government to help the Filipino people prepare for and respond to disasters,” USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn said in the statement.