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Monday, December 4, 2023

1 dead, 1 missing due to ‘Maymay’

One person was reported dead and another one missing in Cagayan due to Tropical Depression “Maymay,” the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, with revised protocols on dam water discharge, the National Irrigation Administration’s River Integrated Irrigation System on Wednesday announced the scheduled initial gate opening of the Magat Dam in Ramon, Isabela.

This is one of the precautionary measures to regulate the current water level of the reservoir and control the inflows and outflows of dam water that could spill into rivers and increase flooding especially during typhoons.

This developed as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is in “constant communication” with heads of concerned government agencies as he “closely” monitors “Maymay,” Malacañang said Wednesday.

Also, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology on Wednesday raised Alert Level 1 over the Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon province.
Phivolcs upgraded Bulusan’s alert level to 1 from 0 due to its “state of low-level unrest.”

The Bulusan Volcano Network recorded 126 weak and shallow volcanic earthquakes since early Tuesday, the state volcano watcher said.

It also observed other unrest parameters, including ground deformation, increased volcanic carbon dioxide concentrations, and on-ground reports of sulfurous odor emissions.

In Cagayan, PDRRMO head Ruelie Rapsing told GMA News’ Unang Balita their office is verifying the casualty reports they received.

“We’re verifying a report on a person who also went out to fish. This is a reported dead (person). The cadaver was retrieved just yesterday afternoon. But we’re still trying to verify if this is related to the cyclone,” he said.

The missing person was reported by the chief of police in Santa Ana, according to Rapsing. Despite the gale warning and no-sail policy since Tuesday, he said the person still went fishing early Tuesday morning.

As of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, a total of 1,270 people or 430 families have been preemptively evacuated in five municipalities, Rapsing said, with 27 barangays currently affected by Maymay.

The northern portion of the province saw moderate to heavy rains, with light to moderate rains in the south of Cagayan, Rapsing said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has prepared over 2,000 family packs in case the local government units (LGUs) in the province run out of supply for affected residents, he added.

According to the Cagayan Public Information Office, the Binobongan-Dalaya Bridge and Bulo-Gagadangan Road were not passable to motorists because of floods. Power interruptions were also experienced in some barangays.

“Maymay” is now moving westward while maintaining its strength, according to the 5 p.m. weather bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

It was last spotted 180 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 1 was hoisted over the eastern portion of Isabela (San Mariano, Dinapigue, San Guillermo, San Pablo, Ilagan City, Benito Soliven, San Agustin, Palanan, Divilacan, Jones, Maconacon, Tumauini, Echague, Cabagan), the eastern portion of Quirino (Maddela, Nagtipunan, Aglipay, Saguday), and the northern portion of Aurora (Casiguran, Dinalungan, Dilasag, Dipaculao).

Strong breeze to near-gale strength winds may be experienced in areas placed under TCWS 1.

Classes were canceled in some areas due to bad weather caused by Maymay, along with some flights yesterday.

“President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is closely monitoring the latest weather disturbance, Tropical Depression ‘Maymay,’ as it may enter the country’s area of responsibility on Thursday, Oct. 13,” Press Secretary officer-in-charge Cheloy Garafil said in a press statement.

Marcos, Garafil said, is also keeping in touch with concerned Cabinet secretaries, including Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo, to check the government’s preparations and readiness for the latest weather disturbance.

“The President is in constant communication with concerned cabinet secretaries, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development which is currently pre-positioning relief goods in the form of family food packs in known evacuation centers in the areas that will be affected by TD ‘Maymay,’” she said.

Garafil said the Office of the President is calling on concerned LGUs to make the necessary preparations, including preemptive evacuations in flood-prone areas.

“Maymay” is forecast to continue moving generally westward towards the eastern coast of Isabela or Aurora.

It is expected to deteriorate into a remnant low within the next 12 hours.

At 4:30 p.m., MARIIS is set to release dam water from the Magat Dam with a volume of 200 cubic meters per second (CMS) that may be increased based on the volume of rainfall at the Magat watershed due to “Maymay.”

As of 12:00 noon yesterday, the current water level of Magat Dam was 187.35 meters above sea level against its spilling level of 190.00 MASL.

The total inflow is equivalent to 190.25 CMS, while the total outflow is 352.50 CMS with no spillway gates open.

MARIIS Management, Dam and Reservoir Division, particularly the Flood Forecasting and Instrumentation Section (FFIS), and all necessary personnel are on stand-by monitoring real-time weather situations.

The pre-release notice has been distributed by MARIIS since October 11 to inform all concerned government institutions and the public about the dam water discharge.

As for the Bustos Dam in Bulacan, the current reservoir elevation is 16.95 meters.

Sluice gate nos. 1 and 2 are now open at 2.50 meters with a water discharge of 112 CMS, while sluice gate no. 3 is open at 3 meters with a water discharge of 72 CMS.

Administrator Benny Antiporda assured the public that all necessary equipment of NIA is in good operating condition and all employees are working hand-in-hand to ensure public safety and efficient information dissemination.

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