Storm signal no. 3 up over 13 areas

Posted at 12/03/2012 9:20 PM | Updated as of 12/04/2012 8:33 AM

Typhoon Pablo bears down on Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Public storm warning signal number 3 has been raised over 13 areas in the southern and central Philippines as Typhoon Pablo nears land, state weather bureau PAGASA said Monday.

Surigao del Norte, Siargao, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Samal Island, and Camiguin will experience winds of between 101 to 185 kilometers per hour (kph) in the next 18 hours, PAGASA said in its latest advisory issued 5 p.m.

Signal No. 2 has also been raised over the following areas:

Southern Leyte
Bohol
Southern Cebu
Negros Oriental
Siquijor
Misamis Occidental
Lanao del Norte
Lanao del Sur
North Cotabato
Zamboanga del Norte
Davao del Sur

The following areas are under Signal No. 1:

Northern Palawan
Calamian islands
Cuyo Island
Eastern Samar
Western Samar
Leyte
Biliran
Aklan
Capiz
Antique
Iloilo
Guimaras
Negros Occidental
Cebu
Camotes Island
Zamboanga del Sur
Maguindanao
Sultan Kudarat
Sarangani
South Cotabato

The typhoon has maintained its strength and was threatening the Davao Oriental-Surigao Del Sur area, according to the weather bureau.

It was spotted 390 kilometers southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Pablo was packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

The typhoon is bringing estimated rainfall amount from 15 to 30 mm per hour (heavy to intense) within its 600-kilometer diameter, PAGASA said.

The typhoon was moving west-west at 26 kph and was expected to be near Cagayan de Oro City by Tuesday afternoon.

"Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signal are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under public storm warning signal 3 and signal 2 are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this typhoon," PAGASA said in its advisory.

Fishing boats and other small seacraft are also advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao.

Evacuation

President Benigno Aquino has urged people in areas that will be hit by the typhoon to start evacuating ahead of the storm's expected landfall Tuesday.

"Kaya po nating mabawasan ang pinsala na pwedeng idulot nito at kawalan ng buhay kung tayo po ay magtutulungan at makikisama sa isa't isa. Huwag na natin pahirapan ang ating mga search and rescue teams at ating mga LGUs [local government units]," the President said.

"Kapag nagpayo na lumikas sa mga tinatawag na danger areas, sumunod na tayo at huwag maghintay ng pangatlo, pang-apat o panlimang bisita pa nila bago tayo lumagay sa mas secure na lugar," Aquino added.

The local government of Cagayan de Oro City has already ordered the suspension of classes in the entire city.

The city's disaster management officials have also raised alert level to code blue, prompting a preemptive evacuation among residents living in areas vulnerable to flooding.

Classes in all levels and government work in the Caraga region have been suspended until tomorrow in preparation for the typhoon.

In an island in Surigao del Sur, the mayor of Hinatuan has urged the village of 39,000 people to prepare for the worst, ordering those living along the coast, flood-prone river valleys, as well as tiny islands off the village to move to government shelters. - reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; Primy Cane, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao; Dexter Ganibe, dzMM; Agence France-Presse