Aghon intensifies as government rushes aid

Aghon intensifies as government rushes aid

‘Aghon’ intensifies as gov’t rushes aid

A portion of Gil Puyat Avenue in Pasay City get flooded due to continuous rain brought by Aghon. —Photo by Richard A. Reyes, Phillippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — Severe Tropical Storm Aghon (international name: Ewiniar) intensified on Sunday off the eastern coast of the Philippines, threatening provinces in the northern Luzon region with fierce winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding, according to the national weather agency.

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Aghon had maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) with gusts up to 130 km/h as of 4 p.m. Sunday. It was slowly moving northeastward over the coastal waters of Mauban, Quezon province.


Pagasa said Aghon, the first named storm of the 2024 wet season in the Philippines, could intensify into a typhoon by Monday afternoon while remaining over the Philippine Sea east of Quezon.


It was expected to take the usual route of storms during the rainy season and recurve northeastward out to the Pacific Ocean before leaving the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday.

Meteorologists said Aghon marked the unusually late start of the Pacific typhoon season. It was first spotted by the US military’s Joint Typhoon Warning System as an area of atmospheric convection southeast of Palau.

Eight landfalls

It then developed into a low-pressure area on May 22, before changing into a tropical depression within hours.

It was expected to follow the usual typhoon path along the country’s eastern seaboard but changed to a northwesterly direction.

‘Aghon’ intensifies as gov’t rushes aid

TOPPLED Centuries-old tree falls on two parked vehicles outside the Minor Basilica and Parish of St. John the Baptist in Taytay, Rizal, during the storm on Sunday. —Lyn Rillon

Moderate threat

Aghon headed for the inner islands in the Visayas and Southern Tagalog and made landfall eight times: Homonhon Island; Giporlos, Eastern Samar; Catbalogan, Samar; Batuan, Masbate; Masbate City; Torrijos, Marinduque; and Lucena, Quezon.

Storm warnings were raised in several provinces in Luzon, including the capital Manila, with some areas placed under the third-highest cyclone wind signal. The eastern part of Quezon province was placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 3.


Pagasa warned of moderate-to-significant threats to life and property in those areas from storm-force winds.

Other areas were warned of gale-force winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, landslides, and a moderate risk of storm surges along coastlines over the next 24 hours. Fishing boats and small vessels were advised not to venture out.

Nearly P1 million worth of relief assistance has been sent to areas affected by the rains of Aghon, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Sunday.

According to DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao, the DSWD has already prepositioned over 24,900 family food packs for the affected regions.

She said the food packs will be readily available for distribution once the “need arises.”

For now, Dumlao said the DSWD had sent P972,000 worth of relief assistance in the Bicol region, particularly in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

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The assistance package includes food packs, hygiene kits and other basic necessities.


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