A powerful typhoon roared toward Northern Luzon on Thursday, a day after Tropical Cyclone Jolina (Conson) drenched several provinces in the Visayas and Luzon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) kept its watch on Typhoon Kiko (Chanthu) as Jolina left the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday night.
Meteorologist and weather forecaster Benison Estareja said Pagasa is monitoring Kiko, which has intensified over the Philippine Sea, east of Central Luzon.
The typhoon was located 785 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora.
Moving westward at 20 kilometers per hour, "Kiko" has maximum sustained winds of 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph.
Malacañang on Thursday gave assurances it was preparing to respond to the onslaught of Typhoon Kiko.
"We are closely monitoring the developments of the operations for Tropical Storm Jolina and preparations for Typhoon Kiko," Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.
Roque said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has a P442.9-million quick response fund at its central office; P11.2 million in Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas; and P32.5 million in other DSWD field offices "which may support the relief needs of displaced families."
"In addition, there are 12,535 family food packs available in disaster response centers," he added.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the DSWD has transferred 2,045 families or 7,602 individuals to 131 evacuation centers.
"We ask the public to continue to remain alert and vigilant, take precautionary measures, observe minimum public health standards, and cooperate with their respective local authorities in case of an evacuation," Roque said.
In the next 24 hours, habagat or the southwest monsoon enhanced by Jolina and Kiko will bring moderate to heavy with at times intense monsoon rains in Palawan, Mindoro provinces, Romblon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Basilan.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council recorded 3,843 houses damaged by Jolina, particularly in Mimaropa, Bicol, Western and Eastern Visayas.
A total of 20,777 families or 83,650 persons have been affected by the tropical storm.