AUTHORITIES IN Cagayan are on high alert for tropical storm Siony, with international name Atsani, which is on a path that will cross the province where some areas remain flooded due to rains from other recent typhoons. Siony was located 620 kilometers (km) east of Aparri town as of Monday morning and moving west-northwest, according to weather bureau PAGASA. Ruel Rapsing, head of the Task Force Lingkod Cagayan-Quick Response Team, said they have been conducting close monitoring for the past four weeks since rains started. “Soils are near saturated or saturated, so there is a high threat of flooding,” he said over the local government’s tele-radio on Monday. Mr. Rapsing said they are in close coordination with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) for preemptive evacuation operations. Among the towns with flooded areas and some roads impassable are Ballesteros, Allacapan, Rizal, and the capital Tuguegarao City. PDRRMO head Atanacio T. Macalan, Jr. said municipal disaster management offices are prepared for emergency response. “Since (typhoons) Pepito, Quinta, Rolly, local social welfare offices have prepositioned relief goods, we are in continuous coordination,” Mr. Macalan said. PAGASA, in its 11 a.m. Monday advisory, said Siony is expected to slow down “significantly” and become “almost stationary” by Tuesday to Wednesday morning with its center around 600 km east of Calayan. It is packing winds of 65 km per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.
Energy dep’t orders price freeze on LPG, kerosene in typhoon-hit Cavite
THE ENERGY department has ordered a 15-day price freeze on household liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene starting Nov. 1 in Cavite following the provincial government’s declaration of a state of calamity due to the impact of typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni). In an advisory sent via Viber on Sunday, the Department of Energy said price rollbacks will take effect but not increases. Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on Friday asked oil companies to secure proper fuel inventory levels, and reminded them to implement a price freeze on household LPG and kerosene products in areas placed under a state of calamity. Last week, diesel and kerosene prices decreased by P0.25 per liter and P0.15 per liter, respectively. — Angelica Y. Yang
Typhoon Goni leaves at least 16 dead, major infrastructure damage
AT LEAST 16 people have been confirmed to have died due to the onslaught of typhoon Goni, locally named Rolly, the strongest globally so far this year. In its update as of 11 a.m. Monday, the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol Region said 10 of the casualties are from Albay while six are from Catanduanes. Three more reported deaths were being verified while three others are missing. Governor Joseph C. Cua of Catanduanes, where the super typhoon made its first landfall on Sunday, reported on the island province’s devastation in a briefing on Monday. Public infrastructure, including roads and ports, were heavily damaged with an estimated cost of up to P1 billion and about 80% of powers posts were affected. In Albay, where Rolly made its second landfall, Governor Al Francis C. Bichara said one of its towns, Guinobatan, has become a “no man’s land” due to lahar flow from Mayon Volcano. Mr. Bichara said he is considering permanently relocating the affected residents. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 1.5 million people across five regions were affected by the typhoon.
POWER SUPPLY, AIRPORTS
On power supply, the National Electrification Administration said electric cooperatives across the country were preparing on Monday to deploy crews to assist in restoration works in the affected regions of Luzon as well as in Eastern Visayas. The Department of Energy, in a separate advisory, said several power plants were still undergoing restoration works. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, meanwhile, reported that its airport in Naga, Camariñes Sur has resumed operations for commercial flights on Monday. In Virac, the airport sustained significant damage but an emergency team from the Philippine Coast Guard on board a small propeller plane was able to land to evaluate the situation in the province. Operations at the country’s main gateway in Manila, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, has also resumed. — Gillian M. Cortez and Angelica Y. Yang