North Luzon braces for ‘Dindo’

Posted at 06/28/12 2:28 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Disaster officials have initiated precautionary measures for tropical storm "Dindo", which is bringing heavy rains over most parts of north Luzon.

In the coastal province of Cagayan, authorities warned fishermen not to set sail as waves begin to get bigger and stronger.

More than two dozen passengers are stranded in the province as fishing and passenger boats were prevented from leaving port.

The stranded passengers appealed to the local government for aid, particularly food.

While Dindo is not expected to make landfall, officials are worried flashfloods may occur.

Local disaster officials said the water level at the Cagayan river has increased but there is no need to evacuate residents at this time.

Preschool, elementary and high school classes in the province have been suspended.

Disaster officials in the province said they have yet to record any flooding incidents but they still advise residents in low-lying areas to prepare for floods.

Meanwhile, in Isabela, rescue teams and dump trucks remain on standby at the provincial capitol while volunteers continue to pack relief goods.

Although the situation in the province remains normal, some residents are already preparing for possible floods as water level in Cagayan river is slowly rising.

The provincial agricultural office estimates that 30 to 35 hectares of corn fields may be damaged due to rains and floods.

In La Union, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said floodwaters in some rivers in Aringay and Agoo towns are rising, but local authorities see no need to evacuate residents yet.

Some areas in Mindanao were not spared as the storm continues to enhance the southwest monsoon (habagat).

In Valencia, Bukidnon, flashfloods occurred, forcing at least 295 families to evacuate.

Water in Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao is also in danger of overflowing.

The NDRRMC is also monitoring the situation in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities which are catch basins for rainwater.

Weather bureau PAGASA said Storm Signal No. 2 remains over:

  • Cagayan
  • Calayan Group of Islands
  • Babuyan Group of Islands
  • Isabela
  • Batanes Group of Islands
  • Apayao
  • Kalinga
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Abra
  • Mt. Province

Storm Signal No. 1, meanwhile, has covered more provinces as of 10:00 a.m.:

  • La Union
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Aurora
  • Ifugao
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Quirino
  • Benguet
  • Pangasinan

PAGASA Administrator Nathaniel Servando said “Dindo” will not anymore grow stronger as it moves towards land area, but is still expected to bring more rains with its interaction with the southwest monsoon. - with ANC