Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu) has maintained its strength and is expected to make landfall in the Isabela-Aurora area by early Sunday, the state weather bureau announced on Friday.
As of 4 p.m., the center of the typhoon was located at 510 kilometers East of Baler town, Aurora province with maximum sustained winds of up to 130 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 160 kph.
The estimated rainfall amount is from heavy to intense within the 600 km diameter of the typhoon.
“Fisherfolk are advised not to venture out over the northern and eastern seaboard of Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Visayas,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
Disaster mitigation teams from Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon have been alerted for possible pre-emptive evacuation of residents as various government agencies brace for the typhoon.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) had been placed on red alert status as it directed its regional centers through the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to undertake precautionary measures and initiate pre-emptive evacuation of families in low-lying and mountainous areas “if situation warrants.”
NDRRMC executive director Alexander Pama advised residents particularly those living on landslide prone areas and near riverbanks to be alert and evacuate as early as possible.
Norma Talosig, Cagayan Valley OCD regional director said liquor ban and no sail and swimming policy have been implemented in several provinces particularly in Isabela while Edgar Nigel Lontoc, Central Luzon OCD deputy director, said disaster teams backed-up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines are already on stand-by for mitigation duties.
Three provinces in the Bicol region have suspended classes on Friday in public and private elementary schools after the state weather bureau hoisted Storm Signal No. 1 in Catan-duanes, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, Bernardo Alejendro, Bicol DRRMC chairman and Office of Civil Defense director told The Manila Times.
He said at least 309 passengers were stranded at the Pasacao seaport in Camarines Sur and Tabaco City port in Albay bound for Virac, Catanduanes and seven ferries including 79 passenger buses, trucks and light vehicles were likewise stranded in the Tabaco port.
He said disaster response agencies have also prepared trucks, food and relief supplies including drugs and medicines in the event of an evacuation.
Meanwhile, the search and rescue operation for a missing yacht has been suspended because of Typhoon Lando.
The yatch was earlier reported missing in Currimao, Ilocos Norte during the height of Typhoon Kabayan, two weeks ago, said Naval Task Force 40 Capt. Albert Mogol of the Philippine Navy in Legazpi City.
Adeltrude Dayata, PN public officer, said they have not yet seen the missing MY Europa.
The Hong Kong-registered yacht, owned by Robin Wyatt, was reported to be carrying aboard the boat owner and four crew-members—a Briton, a Filipino, a Canadian and an American. It was reported lost after it left Hongkong on October 1 as it traveled towards Subic Bay.
FERNAN MARASIGAN, RHAYDZ B. BARCIA AND WILLIAM JUN GARCIA