Tropical Storm “Ramon” (international name: “Kalmaegi”) is projected to graze the northern tip of Luzon—around Aparri, Cagayan—by Monday afternoon, Nov. 18, even as it weakened slightly while remaining almost stationary east of the country on Friday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the storm would hit the Cagayan-Isabela area by Sunday.
At 4 p.m., Ramon was 460 km east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph with 80 kph gusts, the weather bureau said in its 5 p.m. bulletin.
PAGASA forecast the storm’s position at 330 km east of Casiguran, Aurora on Saturday afternoon, 200 km east of Tuguegarao by Sunday, and 20 km east northeast of Aparri by Monday.
On Tuesday afternoon, it would be 110 km west northwest of Sinait, Ilocos Sur, curling downward and heading toward the West Philippine sea, the weather bureau added.
Signal no. 1 remained hoisted over in the eastern portion of Cagayan, the eastern portion of Isabela, and northern Aurora.
Gusty conditions could be experienced in northern Luzon, especially in coastal and mountainous areas as Ramon stirs rains from the northeast monsoon, PAGASA said.
Authorities closed landslide-prone roads and suspended classes in Cagayan and Isabela provinces.
Speaking on radio dzMM, Gov. Rodito Albano III said work in government and private offices in Isabela were also suspended.
The Isabela provincial government was monitoring Magat Dam to check if residents in low-lying areas need to be evacuated, he said.
Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said his province has been on red alert since Thursday.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development field office in Legazpi City said its stockpiles were ready for tropical storm Ramon.
DSWD Regional Director Arnel Garcia said there are 23,143 family food packs available at the DSWD warehouse in this capital city of Albay and P3 million standby funds for disaster operations.
“Other food items at the DSWD warehouse are still for repacking which includes 1,470 sacks of NFA rice; 420 boxes of beef loaf; 556 boxes of sardines; 1,205 boxes of corned beef and 490 boxes of 3-in-1 coffee,” he added.
Non-food items are also on hand consisting of 79 sets of tents, 8,047 boxes of sleeping kit; five pieces of dignity kit; 1,093 boxes of family kit; 2,827 boxes of hygiene kit; 681 kitchen kits; 49,941 pieces of malong; 82 rolls of laminated sacks and 26,338 pieces of blanket.
On Friday, Senator Lito Lapid said he filed a bill providing free freight services for the transport of relief and in-kind donations to areas under a state of calamity.
Senate Bill No. 1151, also known as the “Free Relief Goods Transportation Act,” seeks to institutionalize a system that will facilitate duly recognized relief organizations in providing “speedy, reliable and unhampered delivery of relief goods” to areas that are hit by disasters through free transportation of humanitarian aid.
Under the bill, the Office of the Civil Defense, in coordination with the Philippine Postal Corp. and all freight companies, common carriers, private carriers, freight forwarders and other companies providing logistic services in the Philippines are mandated to grant free freight services to duly registered relief organizations in the transportation of emergency relief goods and donated articles to areas declared to be in a state of calamity by the President or the local government unit.
These common carriers, freight forwarders and other similar entities are also required to deliver goods and services for free specifically to areas where they operate.