AUTHORITIES effected preemptive evacuation in flood and landslide-prone areas in the Bicol region and Quezon ahead of the landfall of “Ulysses” which intensified into typhoon last night.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, storm signal warnings were up in Metro Manila and 46 other areas in eight regions — Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas.
“We effected pre-emptive evacuation of people in vulnerable areas, especially in the Bicol region due to risk of flooding and lahar flows,” said Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Bicol region was battered by super typhoon “Rolly just over a week ago. Rolly left 25 persons dead and P17.8 billion in damage to infrastructure and agriculture.
Initial information showed about 13,200 persons have been evacuated in Bicol, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa regions.
Weather specialist specialist Chris Perez said the Ulysses may hit Metro Manila today, and leave the landmass, through Zambales, between 7 and 9 a.m. today.
“We are not ruling out the possibility na yung sentro nga ay pwedeng direktang tumama ng Metro Manila (We are not ruling out the possibility that its center may directly hit Metro Manila),” said Perez.
Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez said he his province has implemented forced evacuation, “especially in low-lying areas in Lucena.”
“We prepositioned food packs as early as two days ago. We prepared for it, we made adjustments in terms of deployment of relief supplies and medical corps,” said Suarez.
Gov. Joseph Cua of Catanduanes, which was also severely battered by Rolly, said he has ordered a preemptive evacuation.
While Ulysses will not directly hit Catanduanes, Cua said, the province still experienced winds and rains. Cua some areas in Virac, Bagamanok and Bato towns were flooded as of yesterday afternoon.
He also said the province has to look for more evacuation centers because some school buildings, usually used as temporary shelters, have been damaged by Rolly.
Polilio Mayor Cristina Bisque said residents in coastal communities, who are expecting up to a nine-foot storm surge, were ordered to leave their homes.
In a bulletin issued at 8 p.m yesterday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Ulysses made a close approach to Calaguas Island at around 6:30 p.m.
As of 7 p.m. yesterday, the eye of Ulysses was 65 km north of Daet, Camarines Norte. It was moving westward at 20 kph, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 195 kph.
It was forecast to make landfall in Polilio island between 10 p.m. Wednesday and noon today, and the northern portion of mainland Quezon between 1 and 3 a.m.
Afterwards, Ulysses will cross Central Luzon and emerge over the western seaboard of Zambales tomorrow (today) morning,” PAGASA said.
“Ulysses may slightly weaken as it crosses mainland Luzon due to frictional effects in the presence of the Sierra Madre and Zambales mountain ranges. However, it is likely to remain a typhoon throughout its traverse,” said PAGASA.
“Destructive winds and intense with at times torrential rainfall associated with the region of the eyewall and inner rain bands of the typhoon will be experienced over Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte until tonight (last night) and over Aurora and the northern portion of Quezon tonight through tomorrow (Thursday) early morning,” it said.
PAGASA said heavy to intense with at time torrential rains will be experienced in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Aurora, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan.
There will be moderate to heavy with at times intense rains in the Cordillera Administrative Region, mainland Cagayan Valley, Catanduanes, Marinduque, northern portion of Mindoro provinces, and the rest of Central Luzon.
Nineteen areas in Luzon were under signal No. 1. These are the southern portions of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, northern and central portions of Quezon including Polillo Islands, Batangas, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and the northern portion of Camarines Sur.
Thirteen areas also in Luzon are under signal No. 2 — rest of Quirino and of Nueva Vizcaya, southern portions of Benguet and of La Union, rest of Quezon, Marinduque, northern portion of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, and northern portion of Oriental Mindoro, rest of Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Burias and Ticao Islands.
Fifteen areas in Luzon and Visayas were under signal No. 1 — Isabela, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, rest of Benguet, Abra, Ilocos Sur, rest of La Union, rest of Occidental Mindoro, rest of Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, rest of Masbate, Northern Samar, northern portion of Samar, and northern portion of Eastern Samar. — With Noel Talacay and Reuters