Typhoon “Rolly” began its trek toward the West Philippine Sea Sunday night, but not before making four landfalls and leaving ten people dead and much of Luzon submerged in floods, with damaged houses, crops, and infrastructure.
Rolly made its fourth landfall in Lobo, Batangas after stops in Bato, Catanduanes; Tiwi, Albay; and San Narciso, Quezon as it continued to weaken considerably—from its 315 km/h super typhoon-level sustained winds before landfall to “just” 125 km/h—as it remained moving westward at 25 km/h.
Deadly landslides in Albay
The strongest typhoon of the year also triggered deadly landslides that buried a number of houses in Albay.
At least seven people were killed in Albay province, Civil Defense said in a statement.
Several of the victims died in rain-induced landslides of volcanic ash that police said engulfed numerous houses in two adjacent villages near the active Mayon volcano in the province.
"We have recovered three bodies and are looking for three more," said Major Domingo Tapel, chief of police in Guinobatan town.
Nearly 400,000 people have fled their homes, most of them to evacuation centers, the Civil Defense said.
"The winds are fierce. We can hear the trees being pummeled. It's very strong," Francia Mae Borras, 21, said from her home in the coastal city of Legazpi in Albay.
The roofs of two evacuation centers were torn off by the force of the wind and the occupants moved to the ground floors, the provincial public safety chief Cedric Daep told radio dzBB.
Metro Manila spared, Batangas hit
In its 8 p.m. update, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Rolly (international name Goni) was already about 120 kilometers west of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.
The storm did spare Metro Manila from a direct hit, but left Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Norte and Sur, Quezon province, and areas in the Calabarzon region in shambles on All Saints’ Day.
Many areas, especially in Batangas City around nightfall, were inundated by the intense to torrential rainfall from the year’s strongest storm, as thousands of villagers needed immediate rescue from waist-deep flooding.
The entire province of Cavite was placed under a state of calamity on Sunday as a result of the typhoon, Gov. Jonvic Remulla said.
Provincial disaster management office chief Eloisa Rozul told radio dzBB almost 2,000 people from 12 towns or cities have been evacuated as of Sunday noon.
Signal No. 3 remained hoisted over the southwestern portion of Batangas and the northwestern portion of Occidental Mindoro.
Cavite, the rest of Batangas, the northern portion of Oriental Mindoro and the central portion of Occidental Mindoro were under Signal No. 2.
Signal No. 1 was in effect over the southern portion of Zambales.
No storm signals were up in the National Capital Region by 8 p.m. Sunday, but PAGASA warned of flash floods and storm surges that could reach three meters (nine feet) high.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Sunday reported that the Department of Health (DOH) has prepositioned about P26.5 million worth of drugs, medicines, medical supplies, health kits, including personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 supplies in preparation for Typhoon Rolly.
He added that a total of P21.7 million worth of commodities are also available and can be immediately mobilized at the DOH Central Office warehouse.
Duque added that the DOH has raised the code red alert in all affected regions and has alerted hospitals to ensure standby generator sets and adequate critical life-saving equipment for use in emergencies.
At the regional Centers for Health Development (CHDs), Duque ordered the activation of emergency operation centers in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and the Bicol Region.
In Calabarzon, all DOH hospitals were put on Code Blue alert as part of disaster preparedness measures to deal with the impact of Typhoon Rolly.
“The regional office is ready and prepared to provide assistance to local government units that will be needing essential health care services,” said regional director Eduardo Janairo.
“Our provincial health teams, especially in the province of Quezon, are already in coordination with local government units and prepared to provide assistance for the management of the most common health-related problems that may result from this typhoon,” he said.
'Siony' already inside PAR
Even with Rolly exiting the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday, PAGASA warned that Tropical Storm “Siony” was already inside the country and could graze the northern end of Luzon by Friday, November 6.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, Siony was at 1,365 km east of Central Luzon, with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h and moving west northwest at 30 km/h. With AFP
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