THE National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council yesterday told residents in flood and landslide-prone areas to heed the call of local officials to evacuate as tropical storm “Ramon” is set to make landfall in the Cagayan area tonight or early tomorrow.
Signal No. 1 is up in Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Apayao, Isabela, and the northern portion of Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran and Dinalungan towns).
Meanwhile, a low pressure area spotted some 2,420 km east of the Visayas is expected to intensify into a tropical depression before it enters the country tomorrow. It will be named “Sarah.”
Weather specialist Benison Estareja said Ramon is expected to weaken into a tropical depression after making landfall in the northeastern portion of Cagayan. It will then cross Cagayan and Apayao on Tuesday and exit the landmass of Ilocos Norte on Wednesday morning.
Ramon is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday, Estareja said.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Ramon was some 285 km east northeast of Casiguran in Aurora. It was moving west at 15 kph, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
It is projected to be 165 km east of Aparri, Cagayan this afternoon.
Estareja belied reports spread through the social media that the LPA is going to intensify into a super typhoon.
“There is no truth to that, that’s considered fake news and this did not come from PAGASA,” he said.
NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal told residents not to wait for their areas to be flooded before heeding the call of local of local officials to evacuate. He said waiting for floods or an actual landslide before leaving will not only endanger the lives of the residents but also of search and rescue personnel.
He said residents should move if they see signs of a landslide, like soil erosion, rockfall, and seepage of water from the mountain.
The NDRRMC earlier said at 420 barangays in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Bicol regions, and the Cordillera Administrative Region are at risk from floods and landslides.
Timbal said residents should not belittle the effects of Ramon. He said the signal No. 1 raised by the weather bureau in some areas covers only the wind and not the rains that the weather disturbance will bring. He said there was an instance Ramon stayed almost stationary over the ocean, meaning it may have gathered lots of water.
PAGASA last week projected Ramon to make a landfall either on Saturday night or early morning yesterday. Due to its slow movement, Ramon’s landfall was delayed.