Classes, work cancelled
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Sunday raised its alert status from “White” to “Blue” in preparation for Typhoon Rosita, whose strength has been likened by weathermen to that of Typhoon Ompong and which may likely devastate Northern Luzon.
The weather bureau said moderate to heavy rain and strong to very strong winds may begin lashing Northern Luzon and Central Luzon on Monday, October 29. The warning prompted officials to cancel classes in all levels in public and private schools in Isabela and Cagayan on Monday. Work in government and private offices in Isabela on Oct. 30 and 31 was also cancelled.
Edgar Posadas, NDRRMC spokesman, said the typhoon may make landfall on Tuesday in the province of Isabela. He added that Rosita (international code name: Yutu) might follow the same route that Typhoon Ompong (international code name: Mangkhut) went through.
Rosita has the “same characteristics” as Ompong,” Posadas said in an interview with radio dzBB.
Typhoon Ompong hit the northern part of the country last month, causing billions in damage to infrastructure and agriculture and leaving more than 100 people dead.
Posadas said the Health, Social Welfare and Interior departments have funds on standby to cope with possible effects of Rosita, which had entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
He cited the importance of executing preemptive evacuation in areas that would be affected by the typhoon.
Malacañang on Sunday called on communities on the path of the typhoon to prepare for its landfall.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) had warned that Rosita would bring torrential rains.
“We should all be prepared, ready. Everything is in place for our departments,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a radio interview.
Panelo said relief goods to be distributed in affected areas have been prepared.
As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, “Rosita” was spotted 760 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, or 750 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. It had maximum winds of 200 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 245 km/h. The typhoon, which had a diamtere of 800 meters, was moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The weather bureau said warning signals may be raised in parts of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon,including Metro Manila
A storm surge is possible over coastal areas of Isabela, Pagasa said.
Flooding and landslides are possible and travel by land and sea is risky, according to Pagasa.
JAIME R. PILAPIL AND DEMPSEY REYES