The idiom “when it rains it pours” breathes in the death toll and damage caused by Storm Jolina as a new super typhoon named Kiko (international name: Chanthu) was threatening the northeastern tip of the country's main island of Luzon Friday.
At least 14 people including one from Buenavista, Marinduque were reported dead, seven missing, and at least 20 injured after Jolina lashed the country, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Friday.
At the same time, officials said preliminary estimates of damage and losses from Jolina amounted to P270.39 million, affecting 11,499 farmers and fishers, with volume of production loss at 15,450 metric tons and 8,083 hectares of agricultural areas in Calabarzon, Bicol, Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, and fisheries. These values are still subject to validation.
Damage to infrastructure, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways, reached almost P60 million, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Friday.
Meanwhile, the eye of super typhoon Kiko was at 190 kms east of Aparri, Cagayan, at the mouth of the winding Cagayan River, the state weather bureau said yesterday.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 265 km/hr, Kiko was moving northwestward at 15 km/hr.
Tropical cyclone wind signal 4 was raised over the northeastern portion of Babuyan Islands.
Signal no. 3 was hoisted over the extreme northeastern portion of Cagayan, the rest of Babuyan Islands and Batanes.
The northern, central and eastern portions of Cagayan, the northeastern portion of Isabela and the northeastern portion of Apayao had signal no. 2, while signal no. 1 was raised over the rest of Cagayan, the eastern portion of Ilocos Norte, the rest of Apayao, the northern portion of Kalinga, the eastern portion of Mountain Province, the northeastern portion of Abra, the northwestern and southeastern portions of Isabela and the northern portion of Aurora.
Weather forecasters warned of "destructive" winds in Santa Ana town, facing the Babuyan Islands,where around 35,000 people live, and its eastern part.
Rough seas will throw up 2.5 to 10-meter waves, they added.
Cagayan provincial officials have ordered government and private sector workers, except those in frontline services, to stay home and "fortify" their houses, said Rogelio Sending, the provincial information officer.
Most projections forecast the storm will then continue to swing northeast and could hit Taiwan directly during the weekend.
"It will be closest to Taiwan on Saturday and Sunday. (The public) should take precautions against strong winds and downpours," said Taiwanese forecaster Hsu Chung-yi.
Meteorologists have marvelled at how quickly Chanthu morphed into a powerful storm after it first emerged on Monday in between Guam and the Philippines.
"Chanthu went from a depression to a category-5-equivalent typhoon in 48 hours," Sam Lillo, a researcher at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, wrote on Twitter.
Only five other storms, all this century, have done that, he added. With AFP