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‘Carina’ intensifies as it hits Cagayan

Tropical storm “Carina” (international name “Nida”) intensified into a severe tropical storm and made landfall in Cagayan yesterday afternoon.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services weather observer Benjie Depas said Carina made landfall at around 1:20 p.m. in Cabutunan Point, Baggao, Cagayan.

Depas noted that Carina is not expected to make another landfall but assured continuous monitoring of the tropical cyclone.

He said that as of 2 p.m., Carina was estimated based on all available data at 70 kilometers east-southeast of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, with maximum winds of 95 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph, moving west-northwest at 20 kph.

Carina was expected to exit the landmass of Ilocos Norte last night and leave the country’s area of responsibility this morning towards China.

Storm Signal No. 2 was raised in Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga, Abra, and Cagayan, including the Babuyan Group of Islands.

Storm Signal No. 1 is in effect over the Batanes Group of Islands, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Aurora.

Areas under public storm warning signals, the rest of Central and Northern Luzon, and Quezon and Camarines Norte were alerted against Carina’s moderate to heavy rains that may trigger flash floods and landslides.

Fisherfolk were warned from setting sail into the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon due to rough to very rough seas.

The storm-enhanced southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat” will continue to bring rains over the western section of Luzon and Visayas at least until tomorrow.

The government has advised Northern Luzon residents to brace for Carina’s heavy rains and mobilized concerned agencies to prepare relief assistance.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has readied food packs and other relief items for areas in the path of “Carina.”

“Kausap ko po dito si Undersecretary Ric Jalad ng NDRRMC at ang ating Department of Social Welfare and Development at ang kanilang report ay naka-standby po naman ‘yung tulong na maibibigay po ng ating pamahalaan,” Andanar said over government radio.

In preparation for the storm, Andanar said nearly 30,000 food packs have been prepositioned in Region 1 and around 1,900 in Region 8.

The Philippine Coast Guard said that 949 passengers, 192 rolling cargoes, eight vessels, and a motor banca were stranded due to Carina in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
(with reports from Genalyn D. Kabiling and Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos) (ELLALYN B. DE VERA)