‘Helen’ forces class suspension on Cagayan islands

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Classes at the elementary level in the Calayan Group of Islands will remain suspended today as the storm signal was raised over the area because of Typhoon Helen (international codename: Megi).

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Gov. Manuel Mamba on Monday ordered the suspension of classes in all levels in both public and private schools in Calayan, Camiguin, Daliri and Babuyan of the Municipality of Calayan and Fuga island in Aparri town.

A “no-sail” policy has been imposed on the province since Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Cagayan Valley Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) warned residents in Batanes Group of Islands and the Calayan Group of Islands as storm signal No. 2 has been raised in these areas because of Typhoon Helen.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) North Luzon bureau said while the typhoon may affect the northernmost part of the country including Batanes province, Helen is not expected to make a landfall in the country.

Batanes is still reeling from effects of Typhoon Ferdie (Meranti), which left more than P300 million worth of damage.

Batanes was placed under a state of calamity last September 15 because of the typhoon.

Power in Batanes has not been restored except in the villages of Sinakan and Malakdang in Sabtang town.
The province’s communication lines were partially restored but Batanes is still experiencing limited water supply.

Norma Talosig, Office of the Civil Defense-Region 2 chief, said all Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMs) in Batanes and Cagayan are now on alert status in preparation for the new storm.

The OCD said all local government units have been alerted to implement precautionary measures and initiate preemptive evacuation of families in low-lying areas and mountainous areas if the situation warrants.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Developmentsaid it has enough stockpile of food packs including water and 5,000 sacks of rice stored at the National Food Authority warehouse in Batanes in preparation for Helen.

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