BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: Three provinces in Cagayan Valley region as well as Camarines Sur and four towns in Albay suspended classes because of heavy rains and winds brought by tropical storm “Jolina” (international name: Pakhar), which made landfall Friday night in Aurora province.
Signal No. 2 was hoisted in Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, forcing the suspension of classes, while Cagayan province and the Babuyan Group of Islands were placed under Signal No. 1, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Nueva Vizcaya province and Santiago City suspended classes at all levels while the provinces of Cagayan and Quirino suspended classes up to senior high school in public and private schools.
Roy Badilla, officer in charge of the Hydro-Meteorology Division of Pagasa, said the large amount of rainfall expected within the next 24 hours prompted the state weather bureau to issue a flood warning in areas surrounding the Magat River Basin.
Citing information from the National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System in Cauayan
City, Isabela, Badilla said water at Magat Dam might reach critical and spilling levels.
At 2 p.m., the Magat Reservoir elevation rose to 188.26 meters, just below the spilling level of 193 meters. One gate released water at 100 cubic meters per second, prompting nearby areas to take precautionary measures.
The Binga and Ipo dams might release water Friday night or Saturday morning to prevent spillovers, Pagasa said.
The Office of the Civil Defense warned Cagayan Valley residents of severe flooding in the low-lying areas in Isabela and Cagayan provinces.
In the Bicol region, rains led to flooding in various towns of Camarines Sur and Albay provinces. At least 421 passengers heading to Catanduanes were stranded in the port of Tabaco City, Albay.
Landfall in Aurora
On Friday afternoon, “Jolina” maintained its strength and was expected to make landfall in Aurora by 9 p.m. It is expected to cross Northern Luzon.
In Pagasa’s 5 p.m. bulletin, the tropical storm’s center was estimated at 110 kilometers (km) south-southeast of Casiguran, Aurora with maximum sustained winds of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, and gustiness of up to 95 kph. It was forecast to move west-northwest at 19 kph.
Jolina’s rainfall volume would be moderate to heavy within 300 km. in its diameter.
Stormy weather is experienced in the provinces of Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, Kalinga, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Benguet, Abra, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Nueva Vizcaya, all under Signal No. 2.
Rains with gusty winds will prevail over Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, northern Quezon including Polillo Island, Camarines Norte and the rest of Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley.
Heavy rains caused by the southwest monsoon or “Habagat” were expected Friday night in Mindoro, the Calabarzon region and Isabela province.
Monsoon rains that may trigger flashfloods and landslides are also expected over Metro Manila, Western Visayas and the rest of Luzon.
Partly cloudy to cloudy skies except for isolated light to occasionally heavy rains, gusty winds and lightning will prevail over the rest of the country.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over the rest of Luzon and its coastal waters will be moderate to rough.
Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the south to southwest, with slight to moderate seas.
“Jolina” is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility Saturday evening.
with GLEE JALEA AND RHAYDZ B. BARCIA