New storm brews as ‘Jolina’ displaces 3,000 in Luzon

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As tropical storm “Jolina” (Pakhar) heads for China, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is monitoring another low-pressure area that might enter the country from the Pacific Ocean anytime this week.

Jolina, which made landfall in Casiguran, Aurora on Friday evening, crossed Northern Luzon and displaced more than 3,000 persons, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Pagasa spotted Jolina at 3 a.m. on Sunday at 595 kilometers west-northwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte with maximum sustained winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 125 kph.

At 10 a.m. Sunday, it was forecast at 150 km west-southwest of Laoag City.


Cancelled flights
Several Hong Kong flights were cancelled on Sunday due to bad weather conditions, according to a Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) advisory.

MIAA said two Cathay Pacific flights – CX918 (Manila-Hong Kong) and CX919 (Hong Kong-Manila) were scrapped.

Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) PR300 (Manila-Hong Kong), PR301 (Hong Kong-Manila), PR318 (Manila-Hong Kong), PR319 (Hong Kong-Manila) were also cancelled, while PR382 (Manila-Canton) was grounded.

Cebu Pacific cancelled its flight 5J108 (Manila-Hong Kong) and 5J109 (Hong Kong-Manila).

Families displaced
In its 8 a.m. update on Sunday, the NDRRMC reported that a total of 929 families or 3,397 persons were displaced in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera Administrative Region.

Some 123 families or 395 persons were inside 17 evacuation centers while 16 families or 62 persons were served outside evacuation places.

No casualties were reported since Jolina made landfall, the report added.

Relief goods
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) released more than P11.5 million worth of relief goods and more than P2.3 million for disaster operations in the Ilocos Region.

In Cagayan Valley, more than P10.3 million were pre-positioned as standby funds and 15,464 family food packs were prepared.

Available goods for packing include sacks of rice from the National Food Authority, boxes of corned beef, sardines, meat loaf, sausage and packs of 3-in-1 coffee mix.

Overall, the DSWD released a total of 410,635 family food packs amounting to more than P143.6 million and available food and non-food items amounting to more than P447 million.

A DSWD standby fund amounting to more than P835 million was made available in its central office and field offices. The quick-response fund was distributed to field offices all over the country.

Aside from DSWD and Pagasa, different government agencies were tapped for disaster response, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine National Police, Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

BENJIE L. VERGARA AND DEMPSEY REYES

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