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70,000 flee as ‘Tisoy’ bears down on Luzon

Some 17,193 families or 69,251 individuals living in high-risk areas in the Bicol region (Region 5) and Eastern Visayas (Region 8) have been evacuated as a preventive measure ahead of typhoon Tisoy’s (international name “Kammuri”) landfall, authorities reported yesterday.

Office of Civil Defense Bicol director Claudio Yucot said the bulk of evacuees are from Bicol where Tisoy is expected to make a landfall last night or this morning.

As of 5 a.m. yesterday, Yucot said 17,185 families or 69,217 individuals have been sent to temporary shelters in six provinces.

In Albay, 10,328 families (41,108 individuals) were safely evacuated by barangay officials. Some 1,514 families (5,471 individuals) were forced to flee from their homes in Camarines Norte while 3,645 families (14,717 individuals) left their houses in Camarines Sur.

In Catanduanes, 1,061 families (5,172 individuals) have been evacuated; 59 families (222 persons) in Masbate; and 578 families (2,527 persons) in Sorsogon.

Separate information from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said eight families or 34 individuals were also evacuated in Eastern Visayas as of 8 a.m. yesterday

The evacuees were from Babatngon, Leyte (one family, three individuals) and Catarman, Northern Samar (seven families, 31 individuals).

NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said the Council maintained its “blue” alert status to closely monitor the effects of Tisoy upon its landfall. This meant that half of the members of the NDRRMC were placed on standby for any emergency.

Meanwhile, Tisoy could unleash its force until tonight when it traverses Southern Luzon en route to the West Philippine Sea.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration weather specialist Raymond Ordinario said Tisoy is still poised to make landfall over Catanduanes, Albay, or Sorsogon between last night and this morning. Stormy weather is also expected over Calabarzon and Mimaropa, including Metro Manila and Central Luzon, this morning as Tisoy crosses the landmass of Southern Luzon.

The typhoon was 235 kilometers east-southeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 250 kms east of Juban, Sorsogon before noon yesterday, moving generally west at 25 kilometers per hour.

It lightly reintensified with maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 185 kph yesterday, from maximum winds of 140 kph and gusts up to 170 kph last Sunday.

As of 11 a.m. yesterday, tropical cyclone wind signal No. 3 is over Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, southern part of Camarines Norte (Daet, San Vicente, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Basud, and Mercedes), and Burias Islands.

Signal No. 2 was raised in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, western portion of Nueva Ecija (Pantabangan, Rizal, Gen. Mamerto Natividad, Cabanatuan City, Sta. Rosa City, Jaen, San Antonio, Bongabon, Laur, Gabaldon, Gen. Tinio, Palayan, San Leonardo, Cabiao, San Isidro, Gapan City, and Penaranda), southern Aurora (Dipaculao, Maria Aurora, Baler, San Luis, and Dingalan), Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, including Polillo Islands, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, rest of Camarines Norte, Masbate, including Ticao Island, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Biliran. (Martin Sadongdong and Ellalyn Ruiz)