Three people were killed as rain inundated the northern tip of Cagayan province for the fifth straight day, Gov. Manuel Mamba said Friday as he declared a state of calamity.
The tail-end of a cold front, or the interaction of cold and warm air from the Pacific Ocean, is bringing heavy rain to Cagayan and to the neighboring Ilocos Norte and Apayao provinces, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
The agency said severe Tropical Storm “Quiel” (international name “Nakri”) was likely to intensify into a typhoon as it continued to bring rain over parts of the country on Friday.
In its 4 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said Quiel was last spotted 380 kilometers west-northwest of Coron, Palawan. It was packing maximum sustained winds of up to 110 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.
But PAGASA weather specialist Ezra Bulquerin said “Quiel” was expected to leave the country on Friday night or early Saturday.
Mamba said one Cagayan resident drowned, another was killed in a landslide while a third was electrocuted during the rain that sent 3,900 people to evacuation centers.
“It was their first time to experience this kind of flooding in northern Cagayan,” Mamba told DZMM radio.
“Even in the national highway in Allacapan town, the flood was chest-high. Residents in Ballesteros town this morning asked for rescue because the water was rising.”
Most farmers in Cagayan, which produces corn and rice, had harvested their crops and were preparing their land for another planting season when the rains hit, Mamba said.