3 destructive cyclones expected this month - Pagasa
- Ghio Ong, Helen Flores () - September 1, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The public should brace for three or four fierce and destructive cyclones this month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday.

PAGASA supervising undersecretary Graciano Yumul said landfalling tropical cyclones are common occurrence during the month of September.

“Cyclones during September usually make landfall over Central and Northern Luzon and bring heavy rains,” Yumul said.

Meanwhile, PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando said no tropical cyclone is expected to affect the country until Saturday.

However, he said the southwest monsoon will still dump rains over some parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, in the next few days.

Tropical storm “Mina” (international name Nanmadol) battered Northern Luzon last weekend, leaving at least 26 people dead, 31 injured and six others missing.

The storm also left damage to infrastructure and agriculture amounting to P1.16 billion, the National Disaster Risk reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in its report issued at 6 p.m. Yesterday.

PAGASA officials earlier said Mina will soon be removed from its list of tropical cyclone names due to the storm’s huge damage.

The criterion for delisting is either damage to crops and infrastructure of at least P1 billion or casualties numbering at least 300, PAGASA said.

The agency had removed from its list the names “Bebeng” and “Juaning” which hit the country in May and July this year.

Bebeng lashed parts of the Bicol region, Northern Luzon and the Visayas last May, leaving damage to property estimated at P1.37 billion.

Juaning’s damage to infrastructure and agriculture, on the other hand, was estimated at P1.46 billion.

Death toll could go higher

The number of fatalities in Mina-devastated regions, specifically in Northern Luzon, has already climbed to 26 with six others still missing, according to the NDRRMC.

NDRRMC and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) head Benito Ramos said the number of fatalities left by Mina could surpass 30, as there were reported deaths that are still the subject of validation and confirmation.

Most of the fatalities came from the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) with 11 persons buried alive in a landslide; Baguio City had 5 deaths; Benguet, two; Abra, three; Ilocos Region with eight, two drowned in Pangasinan, four from Ilocos Region and two in Ilocos Norte.

Baguio, which was hit hard, was placed under the state of calamity.

In Central Luzon, three were killed in a landslide in Olongapo City, Zambales; one drowned in Catanduanes, one in Iloilo; one in Zamboanga del Sur and one in Quezon City.

Ramos has ordered the release of P10,000 in financial assistance to each of the bereaved families of Mina’s victims, through the NDRRMC’s regional and provincial disaster offices.

“So far, P90,000 worth of financial assistance was initially released to the families of nine dead victims; P20,000 in Ilocos Region and P70,000 to the victims of landslides in Cordillera Region,” Ramos said.

As of yesterday, damage to agriculture and infrastructure has been placed at P1.2 billion – P52 million in infrastructure and P1.1 billion in high value crops, fisheries – in the Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Western Visayas.

The assessment does include 1,327 houses that were either totally or partially destroyed as a result of landslides, flashfloods and tornadoes in the country’s six regions, especially in the provinces of Northern Luzon.

Moderate and heavy rains and strong winds brought about by the typhoon with enhanced southwest monsoon triggered the occurrence of 47 emergency incidents to include 14 flashfloods, 12 landslides, eight tornadoes, six sea mishaps, one vehicular accident, four collapsed structures, one lightning, and one soil erosion in various of areas of the affected regions, Ramos said. – Jaime Laude, Eva Visperas, Mariane Go

BAGUIO CITY BEBENG BENITO RAMOS CAGAYAN VALLEY CENTRAL AND NORTHERN LUZON CORDILLERA AND WESTERN VISAYAS CORDILLERA AUTONOMOUS REGION CORDILLERA REGION ILOCOS REGION NORTHERN LUZON RAMOS
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