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‘Jolina’ intensifies; storm signals up in 21 areas

By: Chito Chavez, Francis Wakefield

Concerned government agencies are on full alert after the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical
Services Administration (Pagasa) hoisted storm warning signals in 21 areas as storm “Jolina (Pakhar) has intensified further and is moving closer to Isabela-Aurora area.

Pagasa, in its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, said tropical cyclone warning signal (TCWS) number 2 was raised over Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, Benguet, Abra, La Union, and Nueva Vizcaya.

The state weather bureau added that storm signal number 1 was raised in Cagayan including Babuyan group of islands, Apayao, rest of Aurora, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Northern Quezon including PoIilio Island, Catanduanes,
Camarines North, and Camarines Sur.

At 10 a.m. yesterday, Jolina was estimated at 210 kilometers of Casiguran, Aurora, carrying a maximum strength of 80 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 95 kph, and is expected to traverse west northwest at 19kph.

Weather forecaster Dr. Nikos Viktor Penaranda said a storm surge is expected to occur with wave length of 4.1 to 14 meters at open sea.

In areas under storm signal number 2, Penaranda said light to moderate damage to high risk structures was detected while there was very light to light damage in medium risk structures.

Shanties or structures made of light materials were partially damaged.

Considerable damage is expected on collage while trees may be uprooted or toppled in these areas.

Penaranda said the estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 400 km diameter of the tropical storm and is expected to further intensify before making its landfall in the Isabela-Aurora area Friday evening.

He added that moderate to occasionally heavy rains is expected over most parts of Luzon that began yesterday.

Residents in the area hit by the typhoon especially those under signal number 2 and 1 are alerted for possible flashfloods and landslides.

Pagasa also warned that sea travel is risky over the sea board of Northern Luzon and eastern sea board of Central and Southern Luzon.

Pagasa hydrologist Richard Orendain said water elevation in Ipo, Ambuklao, Binga, and Magat Dams are critical.

In his update, Orendain said that 25 mm of rainfall may cause water to spill in Ipo Dam while 10 mm of rainfall may also trigger a spillover in Ambuklao Dam.

He added that 15 mm of rainfall may cause a spillover in Binga Dam and 16 mm of rainfall will also cause water to overflow in Magat Dam.

Pagasa said said Jolina is the 10th typhoon to hit the country this year and the second one to occur this month.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRM) Operations Center is now on “Blue Alert” status as part of its preparations for “Jolina”.

National Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokeswoman Romina Marasigan, said “Blue” alert means that personnel from member agencies namely Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronmical Services Administration (DoST-PAGASA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare
and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DoH), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), shall render 24/7 duty to ensure immediate coordination of actions.

The “Blue Alert” status was raised as the NDRRMC Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment Core Group met on Friday at the NDRRM Operations Center at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, with the arrival of the tropical storm.

NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad chaired the meeting which was attended by representatives from member agencies.