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Typhoon Egay ravages northern Luzon, leaves swathe of damage

Typhoon “Egay” (international name Doksuri) pounded the northern Philippines on Wednesday, killing at least one person, toppling trees, knocking out power and dumping heavy rain that caused flash floods and landslides as thousands sheltered with neighbors or in emergency evacuation centers.

Egay was packing maximum sustained wind speeds of 175 kilometers an hour as it hovered over waters around Dalupiri Island, off the northern tip of Luzon, the state weather agency said in its latest update at 11 a.m.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned of “violent, life-threatening conditions” as severe winds and heavy rain pounded the lightly populated region.

EGAY’S WRATH. The Tamdagan bridge in Vintar, Ilocos Norte is no longer passable to vehicles after its temporary backfill caved in due to the swollen river. Below photo shows passengers stranded at the Manila North Port passenger terminal on July 26, 2023. Joem Ramos

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is in Malaysia for a three-day visit, assured the public that the government will do its best to provide aid to people affected by Egay as it made landfall in Aparri on Wednesday. He added that about P173 million worth of assistance,food, and non-food items, is on standby and ready to be delivered to those in need.

Search, rescue and retrieval personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Philippine Coast Guard are also ready to provide help, he also said.

A woman selling bread rolls died when she was hit by a falling coconut tree in Ramon municipality in the northern province of Isabela on Wednesday, provincial disaster official Constante Foronda said. National disaster officials, however, were still validating reported deaths.

About 12,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Cagayan province, including 431 in the Babuyan islands, following warnings of three-meter storm surges, Cagayan provincial disaster official Ruelie Rapsing said.

Flooding has also been reported in the coastal municipalities of Lallo, Pamplona and Claveria.

About 1,500 people were also evacuated from coastal communities in neighboring Isabela, Foronda said.

“We won’t allow them to go home until we get the all clear from the experts,” he said.

Some evacuees have sheltered with neighbors who had concrete houses, while others were taken to municipal halls.

“The roof of the Sanchez Mira municipal hall was blown off,” Rapsing said.

“The windows of an evacuation center there also broke so we had to move them to multi-purpose halls back in their villages.”

The weather agency also warned the typhoon had intensified the seasonal southwest monsoon, bringing heavy rains across the rest of Luzon and the central islands.

The provincial government of Ilocos Norte declared a state of calamity in response to the impact of Egay and the rain it brought.

Heavy rainfall, flooding in low-lying areas, power and communication interruptions, and road blockages have been reported throughout the province. The extent of the damage is still being assessed by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Heavy rains brought on by Egay caused massive flooding in Chico River Wednesday, sweeping away cars and other vehicles in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Bontoc’s official Facebook page showed photos of several vehicles being inundated by the flood. Local officials urged people living in low-lying or flood-prone areas near Chico River or its tributaries to evacuate to higher ground or designated evacuation centers.

Egay had been a super typhoon as it swept across the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday but weakened as it neared the Philippines.

It is expected to weaken further as it moves across the South China Sea, grazing Taiwan as it heads towards southeast China.

Egay made a second landfall on Dalupiri Island in Aparri, Cagayan, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Its first landfall occurred in Fuga Island and Aparri at 3:10 a.m.

The center of the eye of the typhoon was estimated at 70 kilometers west northwest of Calayan, Cagayan.

It was moving northwestward at 10 km/h, packing maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 240 km/h.

Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 4 was raised in the northwestern portion of Cagayan, including Babuyan Islands and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte.

Signal no. 3 was hoisted over Batanes, northern and central portionsof Cagayan, the rest of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, the northern portion of Abra and the northern portion of Ilocos Sur.

Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Isabela, the rest of Cagayan, the rest of Ilocos Sur, the rest of Abra, the northern and central portions of La Union,and the northern and central portions of Benguet experienced signal no. 2.

Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal,Laguna, the rest of La Union and the rest of Benguet, and the northern portion of Quezon, including Polillo Islands, were under signal no. 1.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)said the typhoon and monsoon rains affected 44,356 families or about 180,439 persons residing in 261 barangays in Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen, with about 11,041 people taking shelter in 107 emergency evacuation centers.

Cesar Idio, director of the Office of Civil Defense Operations Service said the government has released some P1.45 million in assistance so far.

The Office of Civil Defense earlier said that the affected families are a combination of those displaced and families whose source of livelihood were affected but did not need evacuation.

The NDRRMC is also validating reports of one dead in Calabarzon and two injured in Calabarzon and Western Visayas.

Some 57 houses were reported damaged in Ilocos Region, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen, it added.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday reported that Egay did at least P255,000 worth of damage to crops.

Citing the initial assessment of DA regional field offices in Calabarzon and Mimaropa, the department said the damage to crops affected 77 farmers, with the volume of production loss pegged at four metric tons (MT) and 40 hectares of rice areas.

“Most of the damage and losses were incurred at seedling, newly planted, and vegetative stages of rice,” said the DA’s Bulletin No. 3 on Typhoon Egay.

The Department of Energy said Wednesday typhoon Egay affected a total of 42 electric cooperatives and damaged some transmission facilities.

It said that 26 cooperatives were operating normally, while 13 were experiencing power interruptions. Six cooperatives experienced a total loss of power due to a manual shutdown and tripping of transmission lines.

In his message from Malaysia, the President said power had been restored to 93 percent of affected municipalities.

Flight operations in Laoag International Airport and TuguegaraoAirport were suspended Wednesday due to bad weather, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said.

Vigan Airport reported minimal damage, while Lingayen Airport’s ramp was flooded due to heavy rainfall. Part of the roof of the airport’s fire station was also damaged due to strong winds.

In Area Center 2, Tuguegarao Airport continued to experience strong winds and rain.

“The airport has halted its flight operations for the day as commercial electricity has been down. While no major damage has been observed, minor flooding at the airport’s taxiway has been reported,” said CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio.

“Basco Airport, Cauayan Airport, and Palanan Airport continue to experience strong winds and rain. The airports reported no damage to their facilities and commercial electricity remains available,” he added.

Cebu Pacific’s CebGo flights in Manila to and from San Jose Airport were canceled affecting a total of 155 passengers.

Iba Airport also continues to experience strong winds and rain but reported no damage to its facilities.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it would conduct immediate repairs on infrastructure damaged by Egay, saying the typhoon caused two road closures and limited access in four highways in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Central Mindanao (Region XII) and Region IV-B.

The DPWH has identified impassable roads as the Baguio-Bontoc Road in Mt. Province and Awang-Upi-Lebak-Kalamansig-Palimbang-Sarangani Road, in Brgy. Kidayan, Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat.

Public works secretary Manuel Bonoan said several DPWH Quick-Response Teams were dispatched to expedite emergency repair work and to carry out clearing operations so that the affected roads may be reopened and ensure access for government relief efforts. With AFP


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