10,000 displaced; new LPA threatens PH anew
Only the northwestern part of Occidental Mindoro and Lubang Island remain under tropical cyclone wind Signal No. 3 as typhoon “Quinta” (international name: “Molave”) leaves the Philippine landmass Monday morning.
Before leaving landmass, Quinta made a total of five landfalls in San Miguel Island, Tabaco City, Albay (6:10 p.m., 25 October); Malinao, Albay (6:50 p.m., October 25); San Andres, Quezon (10:30 p.m., October 25); Torrijos, Marinduque (1:20 a.m., October 26); and Pola, Oriental Mindoro (3:30 a.m., October 26).
The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol disclosed that 12 fishermen were reported missing at height of the storm.
Some 10,000 individuals were affected by Quinta in Southern Luzon and northernmost part of the country, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday.
NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal said 1,503 families or 5,704 individuals were pre-emptively evacuated and are currently staying in various evacuation centers in Bicol Region (Region 5), Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon or Region 4A), Mimaropa (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan or Region 4B), and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Some 968 families or 3,524 individuals also fled their homes but opted to go to their relatives and to areas which are not prone to flood, landslide, storm surge, and lahar, he added.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor has likened the strength of Quinta to Typhoon “Tisoy” which wrought havoc in the province in December last year.
“All the while, we were thinking na ordinary lang na Signal No. 2, tapos Signal No. 3 na mahina, and yet compared kay ‘Tisoy,’ it’s the same strength na meron si ‘Tisoy’ (All the while we’re thinking that what we’ll experience will be an ordinary Signal No. 2, or a weak Signal No. 3, and yet compared to Tisoy, I think they are the same in term of strength),” Dolor said.
As of 11 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Quinta has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 125 kph and gustiness up to 150 kph but may re-intensify and reach its peak intensity within 24 to 48 hours while over the sea.
Quinta is seen to continue to move west until Monday afternoon, then turn west-northwest over the West Philippine Sea and towards the western boundary of the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
PAGASA said the northwestern portion of Occidental Mindoro – Abra de Ilog, Mamburao, Paluan – including Lubang Island, remain under Signal No. 3 as of 11 a.m. Monday.
Signal No. 2 is still hoisted over Oriental Mindoro, the rest of Occidental Mindoro, Calamian Islands, Batangas, and the extreme northern portion of Antique (Caluya). PAGASA said moderate to heavy with at times intense rains will still prevail over Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Marinduque, northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Aurora, Isabela, Quirino, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Aklan, Capiz, and Antique.
The tail-end of a frontal system will likewise bring moderate to heavy rains over Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.
The combined effects of the two weather systems will also bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and the rest of Luzon.
The State weather bureau warned of possible flooding or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.
Moreover, destructive typhoon force winds could be felt in areas under Signal No. 3, while damaging gale to storm-force winds are likely in areas under Signal No. 2.
Disaster relief assistance
Following the typhoon, the government mobilized a massive disaster relief aid, drawing from a national stockpile of ₱890.5 million worth of food packs and funds, to assist communities affected by Quinta.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the people in the typhoon-hit areas should not worry since the government would provide them with assistance to recover from the latest calamity.
Roque, speaking on DZRH Monday morning, said President Duterte’s main concern is the safety and well-being of the people amid the latest storm battering some parts of the country.
“Hang in there po at nandiyan na po ang tulong, parating na (Hang in there. Help is on the way),” Roque said in the radio interview.
As Quinta dumped heavy rains in some areas of Luzon and Visayas since Sunday, Roque said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has readied funds and food packs for the families affected by the typhoon.
“As of October 25, 2020, the DSWD has a stockpile including ang food packs and standby funds amounting to more than ₱890,596,116.79. These items are prepositioned in DSWD central offices and field offices of the agencies,” Roque said during a later online Palace press briefing.
Roque said quick response teams have also been activated to extend assistance to typhoon-hit areas.
The government also reminded local government units to implement health protocols such as safe distancing in the distribution of relief goods as well as in evacuation centers to prevent any spread of the new coronavirus disease.
With the lingering threat of the coronavirus illness, Roque said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council recently issued a memorandum on various COVID-19 preparedness measures for the rainy season.
The memorandum included a reminder to local government units to enforce physical distancing in evacuation centers, extend priority aid to vulnerable citizens, and carry out the proper distribution of relief goods with safety markings.
According to Roque, temperature and health screening must also be carried out before people are allowed to use the temporary shelter.
Face masks must be worn while facilities must be regularly disinfected.
“Bawal pa rin ang mass gatherings at inaabisuhan ang LGUs na maglagay ng designated areas na may appropriate safety markings (Mass gatherings are prohibited and LGUs have been advised to place designated areas with appropriate safety markings),” he said.
Safety responders must also wear personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other protective gears during disaster response operations. (With reports from Martin A. Sadongdong, Genalyn D. Kabiling, Noreen Jazul, and Niño Luces)