'Vinta' shuts down Cagayan
MANILA – Typhoon "Vinta" pummeled Cagayan, toppling trees and leaving the province without power, a local official said Friday.
Bonifacio Cuarteros of the Cagayan Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the entire province is now without power after Vinta made landfall on Thursday afternoon.
"Matindi po ang pananalasa ni Vinta lalo na sa ating coastal areas at saka central part of the province. Sa ngayon po, kasalukuyan ang clearing operations sa mga kalsada dahil sa dami ng mga punong na-uproot sa tindi ng lakas ng hangin ni Vinta. Ngayon po ay walang ilaw sa buong probinsya," Cuarteros told dzMM.
Cuarteros said some residents in the towns of Gonzaga, Sta. Teresita and Ballesteros fled their homes at the height of the typhoon's onslaught on Thursday. He said the winds brought by the typhoon were so strong that even the rescuers were having a hard time responding to calls for help.
Cuarteros said there were no reports of fatalities yet, but some residents suffered injuries.
Felipe Asuncion, a resident of Alcala town, said the typhoon damaged crops and infrastructure in their area.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said as of 4 a.m., Vinta was located 70 kilometers north northwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
Moving west northwest at 22 kilometers per hour, Vinta is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday afternoon.
Only Ilocos Norte remains under signal no. 3. The province should experience 101-185 kph winds in the next 18 hours.
Cagayan, Calayan, Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga and Ilocos Sur remain under signal no. 2.
Under signal no. 1 are Batanes Group of Islands, Isabela, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Benguet and La Union.
Areas under signal no. 2 should experience 61 to 100 kph winds in at least 24 hours, while those under signal no. 1 should experience 30 to 60 kph winds in at least 36 hours.
Areas under signal nos. 3, 2 and 1 are alerted against possible floods and landslides. Coastal areas under signal nos. 3 and 2 are alerted against possible storm surges.
An estimated rainfall of 5 to 15 millimeters per hour (moderate - heavy) is expected within the storm's 500-km diameter.
PAGASA said sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and over the western seaboard of Central Luzon.