• ‘Santi’ threatens to batter seven northern provinces

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    Seven Luzon provinces were under Public Storm Signal no. 3 as Typhoon Santi landfalls at Baler, Aurora said Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) weather bureau on Friday.

    Typhoon Santi lashes with winds of 130 kilometers per hour (kph), gustiness of 160kph keeping a speed of 15kph. It is shifting track and is forecast to move in to Benguet by Saturday morning and Northwest of Dagupan City by Sunday morning. By Monday morning, it is forecast to move at Northwest of Baguio City, Pagasa said.

    Public storm signal no. 3 was raised in Aurora, Isabela, Quirino, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet and Nueva Ecija. Potential impact of Santi in those areas are damages to agriculture, moderate to heavy disruption of electricity and communication services, Pagasa added.

    Signal no. 2 covers 15 provinces—La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Mount Province, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga and Northern Quezon including Polilio Islands.

    Pagasa raised signal no. 1 in Metro Manila, Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Lubang Islands, Rest of Quezon, Marinduque, Camarines Provinces, Albay and Catanduanes.

    Another low-pressure area (LPA) was seen outside Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and may enter after Santi. The weather bureau said that it will not make a landfall in our country but will move to the Japan-Korea area.

    Areas under storm signals will continue to experience stormy skies with moderate to heavy rains and gustiness. Seas will remain rough in Northern Luzon and Visayas coast. The public is reminded to keep updated on weather bulletins and to always maintain caution for possible flashfloods.

    Lawmen brace for onslaught

    THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday has alerted for disaster response operations its units in the projected pathway of Typhoon Santi, expected to barrel through Luzon’s eastern seaboard.

    PNP activated the National Headquarters Disaster Incident Management Task Group to coordinate all disaster response operations of police units in areas that are in the typhoon’s direct path.

    The alert came after the state weather bureau raised typhoon warning signals in most parts of Luzon including some island provinces that are forecast to experience strong winds and heavy to intense rainfall.

    PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima ordered the activation of the police’s disaster task group to be headed by Director Lina Sarmiento, the chief of PNP Directorate for Police Community Relations (DPCR).

    Sarmiento also mobilized national support units to muster troops and resources for possible deployment to areas affected by floods, landslides and collapsed structures.

    These disaster response-capable units include, Special Action Force, Maritime Group, Highway Patrol Group, Police Community Relations Group,as well as the Regional Public Safety Battalions.

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