‘Dante’ nicks Batangas on exit path

Tropical Storm “Dante” made its way past the Verde Island Passage and nicked the southwestern coast of Batangas before curling upward toward Taiwan on Wednesday night, the state weather bureau said.

‘Dante’ nicks Batangas on exit path
NONSTOP HELP. Coast Guard responders from the PCG District Northeastern Mindanao help residents escape the flooding in Agusan del Norte due to the effects of Tropical Storm Dante on Wednesday. PCG Photo 
In its 8 p.m. update, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the center of Dante was over the coastal waters of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, and was moving northwestward at 20 kilometers per hour.

The cyclone was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h near the center with gustiness of up to 90 km/h after making landfall six times across the Visayas region and Luzon.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 2 was hoisted over the northern portion Oriental Mindoro, the northern portion of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Islands, Batangas, Cavite, Bataan, the southwestern portion of Bulacan, the western portion of Pampanga, Zambales, the western portion of Tarlac, and the western portion of Pangasinan.

Signal No. 1 was up over Metro Manila and Marinduque, the northern portion of Romblon, the rest of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro, the western portion of Quezon Province, Laguna, Rizal, the rest of Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac, the western portion of Nueva Ecija, the rest of Pangasinan, the southern portion of Benguet, and La Union.

PAGASA forecast Dante to be over the coastal waters of Palauig, Zambales by Thursday morning, west of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte by evening today, and 280 km west of Basco, Batanes by Friday.

Dante killed at least three people and left one missing after inundating Mindanao. The country's fourth storm this year made its third landfall over Balud, Masbate at 3:30 a.m., then over Romblon, Romblon at 8 a.m., and San Agustin, Romblon at 8:50 a.m., PAGASA weather forecaster Ariel Rojas said.   

Earlier, it had made landfall over Sulat, Eastern Samar at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, and its second over Cataingan, Masbate at 1 a.m. Wednesday.

It was forecast to make a sixth landfall in Bataan on Wednesday night, then weaken into a tropical depression Thursday.

Dante also left P14.6 million worth of damage in agriculture as it lashed parts of Mindanao and the Visayas beginning early this week, government agencies said Wednesday.

The storm, which was headed to Oriental Mindoro's eastern coast as of Wednesday, has affected 566 families or 2,642 individuals in the said regions, 604 people in evacuation centers, officials said.

Thousands of families also reportedly fled their homes in Albay in anticipation of the storm.

Flooding incidents were recorded in Soccsksargen and the Bangsamoro regions.

Authorities "continue to monitor" the situation, with the NDRRMC issuing warnings and reminders to local governments, said Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque.

The social welfare department has P1.105 billion in total standby funds, including P113 million worth of 222,382 family food packs, he said.

The Philippine Coast Guard, meanwhile, is assisting in evacuation and rescue operations in flooded areas, Roque added.

Meanwhile, based on the Department of Agriculture's disaster response monitoring as of Wednesday morning, Dante left P14.6 million worth of agricultural damage, which were mostly recorded in parts of Mindanao.

This included 616 hectares of agricultural areas in and 500 metric tons of production loss in Soccsksargen and Caraga regions, which were mostly rice and corn yields.

The NDRRMC said that with the cancellation of sea trips, 1,189 passengers, 113 rolling cargoes and 7 vessels were stranded in various ports in Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

At the same time, Malacañang is calling on the public, especially those who will be directly affected by the typhoon onslaught to stay vigilant and coordinate with their local disaster management offices.

“The safety of everyone remains our main concern. Let us, therefore, remain alert and vigilant, and cooperate with authorities while observing the minimum public health standards against COVID-19 during this storm,” Roque said in a press statement.

Roque said P1.105 billion, including P113 million worth of 222,382 family food packs, had been allotted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development as total standby funds.

The deployable response groups of the Philippine Coast Guard have been assisting in evacuation and/or rescue operations in flooded areas, he added.

Clearing operations to severely affected areas, he said, have likewise been conducted.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Wednesday urged the public to take precautionary measures due to lahar and muddy streamflows from Taal and Pinatubo volcanoes.

At 10:30 a.m., Phivolcs issued an advisory citing the weather bureau's forecast that Dante was expected to make landfall over Batangas at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The heavy rainfall may trigger volcanic sediment flows or lahar, and muddy run-off in rivers and drainage areas in Taal and Pinatubo.

According to Phivolcs, prolonged and intense rainfall might generate lahars on major rivers draining western Pinatubo Volcano where significant erodible pyroclastic flow deposits of the 1991 eruption remain on the watershed.

Further, Pinatubo lahar will likely be channel-confined and occur on the upper to middle reaches of the Sto. Tomas-Marella and Bucao River systems but may transition to muddy streamflows and floods on the lower reaches and affect adjacent communities of San Marcelino, San Narciso, San Felipe, and Botolan, Zambales province, it added.

"Pyroclastic flow deposits are those that were deposited by the flows of ashes during an eruption," Solidum said.

Phivolcs also mentioned in its advisory that muddy streamflows may likewise be generated along the O’Donnell and Pasig-Potrero River systems draining the Pinatubo edifice to the north and southeast, respectively, and affect downstream communities in Tarlac and Pampanga provinces.

In related developments, the Philippine Coast Guard reported that 3,007 individuals, 73 vessels, three motorbancas, and 792 rolling cargoes are stranded in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Northeastern Mindanao, and the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions due to the tropical storm. 

Topics: ​Tropical Storm “Dante” , Verde Island Passage , PAGASA , Ariel Rojas
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