THREE people were killed at the height of Tropical Storm “Urduja” in Leyte and Dinagat Islands, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Saturday.
NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said a two-year-old child was one of the fatalities. The child drowned in a flood in Mahaplag, Leyte.
A fisherman who was earlier reported missing was found dead in Dinagat Islands.
NDRRMC spokeswoman Romina Marasigan said in a television interview that another person was killed in Biliran, Leyte.
“These are only just reports and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is still verifying their identities,” Marasigan said.
Six people were reported missing, three in Eastern Samar and three in Biliran, Leyte. Four people were reported injured – two in Tacloban and two in Biliran.
A total of 8,831 families were sent to 141 evacuation centers, the NDRRMC said.
Disaster officials also said 11,101 travelers and 1,322 rolling cargoes were stranded in different parts of the Philippines, including in Metro Manila.
Malacañang urged the public to stay alert and follow the government’s instructions, as Tropical Storm Urduja (international name: Kai-Tak) made landfall over Eastern Samar at 1:30 p.m.
In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar assured the public that the government was prepared for the tropical storm.
“It’s very important for us to listen to our barangay (village) captains, to our municipal mayors and all our local government units. Sila po ay nakahanda para po tulungan tayong lahat (They are prepared to extend assistance to all of us),” he said.
In its 5 p.m. advisory on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Urduja slightly weakened as it traversed the northern part of Samar province.
It said scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains will continue over Bicol Region and the Visayas and is expected to prevail over southern Quezon, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, the Mindoro provinces, Marinduque and Romblon.
“Residents of these areas must undertake appropriate measures against flooding and landslides and coordinate with their local disaster risk reduction and management offices. Sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal,” the weather bureau said.
Urduja had maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph. It was moving west at just 15 kph.
It was expected to be at 95 kilometers (km.) west of Roxas City, Capiz on Sunday afternoon and 135 km north of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Monday afternoon.
Signal No. 2 was raised over Sorsogon and Masbate, including Ticao Islands, and Romblon; Northern Samar, the northern part of Eastern Samar, the northern part of Samar, Biliran, Antique, Aklan, Capiz and northern Iloilo.
Signal No. 1 was raised over Southern Quezon, Marinduque, the southern part of Occidental Mindoro, the southern part of Oriental Mindoro, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Burias Island, northern Palawan and Cuyo Island, the Calamian Group of Islands, and the rest of Iloilo, the rest of Samar, the rest of Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, the northern part of Negros Oriental, northern Cebu and Leyte.
26 flights cancelled
Twenty-six domestic flights were cancelled on Saturday due to bad weather brought by Tropical Storm Urduja.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said Cebu Pacific Air cancelled six flights – 5J651/5J652 (Manila-Tacloban-Manila), 5J649/5J650 (Manila-Tacloban-Manila), 5J373/5J374 (Manila-Roxas-Manila), 5J901/5J902 (Manila-Caticlan-Manila), 5J653/5J654 (Manila-Tacloban-Manila), 5J905/5J906 (Manila-Caticlan-Manila).
Air Asia Philippines scrapped its Manila-Tacloban-Manila services: Z2-320/Z2-321, Z2-324/Z2-325) and Z2-327/Z2-328.
Cebgo, sister company of Cebu Pacific, grounded its DG6177/DG6178 (Manila-Masbate-Manila), DG6073/DG6074 (Manila-Tablas-Manila), DG6017/DG6018 (Manila-Naga-Manila).
Skyjet flights M8-421/M8-422 (Manila-Siargao-Manila) were also cancelled due to bad weather.
RJ CARBONELL, CATHERINE S. VALENTE AND BENJIE L. VERGARA