TYPHOON “Dodong” pounded northern Luzon Sunday afternoon as it made landfall in Santa Ana, Cagayan, the weather bureau said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Dodong—international name Noul—made landfall at 4:45 pm over Pananapan village. It said 15 areas remained under storm signals as the typhoon slowed down.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center has labeled Dodong a super typhoon.
“We are advising residents to take precautionary measures, and it is better for those in the danger zones to move out,” said Alexander Pama, administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.
Dodong was packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 220 kph.
The howler was forecast to move north-northwest at 17 kph and was expected to be 170 km north-northeast of Basco, Batanes, by Monday afternoon and 830 km northeast of Basco, Batanes, by Tuesday afternoon on its way out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
The areas under Storm Signal No. 4 were Northeastern Cagayan, Batanes, Babuyan Islands and Calayan Islands.
Under Storm Signal No. 3 were the rest of Cagayan, Isabela and Apayao, and under Storm Signal No. 2 were Northern Aurora, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte and Abra
The areas under Storm Signal No. 1 were the rest of Aurora, Ilocos Sur and Quirino.
The weather bureau said Dodong may bring heavy to intense rainfall within its 150-km diameter. It reminded residents in the low-lying and mountainous areas under storm signals to be alert against possible flash floods and landslides.
Storm surges of up to two meters were possible over Gonzaga and Santa Ana in Cagayan.
Fishermen were reminded not to venture out over the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon.
Based on Sunday’s monitoring of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 352 families or 1,213 individuals were preemptively evacuated from the coastal towns of Divilacan (32), Maconacon (189), Dinapigue (682), Palanan (112) and Benito Soliven (198).
Disaster Council executive director Alexander Pama said preemptive evacuations had also been ordered in Cagayan’s coastal areas hours before Dodong’s expected landfall.
He said up to 1.50 meters of storm surges were possible over the eastern coast of Cagayan and Isabela.
Disaster officials said 5,179 passengers were stranded in the ports in Bicol, Southern Tagalog and Cagayan Valley as of Sunday.
Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala said thousands of soldiers from the 5th and 9th Infantry Divisions had been deployed in the affected areas for preemptive evacuations and search-and-rescue operations.
He said a red alert had been declared in the affected areas as the government—the Department of Social Welfare and Development in particular—had made preparations days before Dodong was expected to arrive.
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