‘Kiko’ accelerates, threatens NLuzon

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Classes were suspended in Cagayan and local flights were canceled on Tuesday as tropical depression “Kiko” gained strength and moved northwest toward Northern Luzon.

In its 11 a.m. forecast also on Tuesday, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) tracked “Kiko” at 350 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, retaining maximum winds of up to 55 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 65 kph, causing Tropical Cyclone Warning (TCW) Signal No. 1 to remain raised in Northern Cagayan including the Babuyan Group of Islands and Batanes.

Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba canceled all classes from pre-school to senior high school in public and private schools in Cagayan.

Rogie Sending, officer-in-charge of the Cagayan provincial information office, said the declaration was based on a recommendation of the Provincial Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PCCDRRMO) to ensure the safety of students.

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 2 said “Kiko” accelerated slightly and moved in a northwest direction towars extreme Northern Luzon including the provinces of Cagayan, Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands.

The TCW signal previously raised in Ilocos Norte and Apayao were lifted also on Tuesday.

The typhoon maintained its strength and was expected to move northwest at 17 kph and move 55 km south-southwest of Basco, Batanes, on Wednesday morning and exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday morning.

Canceled flights

The Manila International Airport Authority announced at 11 a.m. also on Tuesday cancelation of eight local flights.
PAL Express: 2P2014 Manila-Tuguegarao, 2P2015 Tuguegarao-Manila, 2P2041 Manila-Caticlan and 2P2042 Caticlan-Manila.

Cebu Pacific: 5J504 Manila-Tuguegarao, 5J505 Tuguegarao-Manila, 5J196 Manila-Cauayan (Isabela) and 5J197 Cauayan-Manila.

Weather Philippines said the thick rain bands associated with tropical depression “Kiko” and its trough were expected to bring moderate, heavy to extreme rainfall over Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Isabela, Abra, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, central and northern Benguet, northern La Union, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Batanes and Babuyan Group of Islands.

Based on the Pagasa report, the Office of Civil Defense warned residents to be alert against possible flash floods and landslides and told fishermen not to venture out over the eastern seaboard of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon.

Magat Dam swells

The National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-MARIIS) in Cauayan City, Isabela, said the Magat Dam reservoir level may climb to its critical and spilling level.

This would be caused by downpour monitored by NIA-MARIIS with 1.6 millimeter in Banaue, 3mm in Halong (Ifugao), 2.0 mm in Dupax del Norte and 1.6 mm in Imugan, Santa Fe (Nueva Vizcaya).

NIA-MARIIS said the Magat Dam reservoir level reached 189.29 meters, which is 3.79 meters near its maximum and spilling level of 193 and .71 meter below its desired level of 190.

The swelling of the Ibulao River in Ifugao and the Magat River because of heavy downpour in Nueva Vizcaya has been a major cause of the rapid rise of the water level at the Magat dam.

Located at the border of Ramon, Isabela ,and Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, the rock-filled Magat dam built in 1983 also supplies irrigation water to approximately 85,000 hectares (210,000 acres) of farmland in Isabela and Quirino.

 with MARY GLEE JALEA AND LEANDER C. DOMINGO

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