Evacuations ongoing in parts of Northern Luzon ahead of ‘Lawin’
Pre-emptive evacuations are underway in some parts of Northern Luzon as supertyphoon “Lawin” (international name: Haima) moved closer to land.
“We have reported during the pre-disaster risk reduction assessment meeting that pre-emptive evacuation actions are being conducted in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela and Ilocos Norte,” director of the Department of Interior and Local Government said on Wednesday in a press briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He said they are still waiting reports of preemptive evacuation in Ilocos Sur and other provinces, especially in Cordillera region.
Allan Tabell said they are also focusing on coastal areas, such as the northern tip of Cagayan, from Sta. Ana, Gonzaga, Bogey and Aparri.
“Yung mga kababayan natin na nandun sa mga lugar na yun lumayo na kayo sa coastal areas, maghanap na kayo ng high grounds (To our fellow countrymen who live near the coastal areas, seek high grounds),” he said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) earlier warned of storm surges of up to five meters in Cagayan, Calayan group of Islands, Isabela, Northern Aurora and Ilocos Norte.
Rains from Typhoon Karen (Sarika), which left the country a few days earlier, have saturated the soil of Luzon, increasing the chances of landslides during Lawin.
“Yung mga landslide-prone areas sa mga lugar na yun. Kung hindi pa man nagka landslide sa panahon ni Typhoon Karen, ay mataas ang probability na magkaroon ng landslide ngayon (If landslide-prone areas haven’t experienced such during Typhoon Karen, there is a high probability that landslide would occur now),” Tabell said.
Lawin reached its supertyphoon status on Wednesday afternoon, prompting Pagasa to raise Signal No. 5 over Isabela and Cagayan. It is projected to make landfall in Isabela-Cagayan area late Wednesday evening or early Thursday, between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Under Signal No. 5, Pagasa noted that there will be heavy damage to structures and toppling down of power and communication lines. RAM
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