Bicol PCG on alert for Bavi

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Tropical Storm Bavi is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility today and is likely to bring light to moderate rains over the eastern section of Bicol and Central Luzon beginning tomorrow.

Robert Sawi, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Bavi may also bring rains over Metro Manila.

“We only expect light to moderate rains from Tropical Storm Bavi,” Sawi said.

As of 10 a.m. yesterday, the center of the storm was located at 1,765 kilometers east of Bicol Region.

It packed winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph. It was forecast to move westward at 30 kph.

Bavi will be locally named Betty once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility, PAGASA said.

Sawi said they expect the storm to weaken as it approaches landmass in Luzon.

Based on climatological data, tropical cyclones in March usually hit the Bicol-Visayas area, Sawi said.

However, some of the cyclones that enter the Philippine area of responsibility in March veer northward or towards Japan, he said.

On alert

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has placed its Bicol district on alert in anticipation of the entry of Bavi today.

“Our Coast Guard district in Bicol has been advised to be ready. They would also be on the lookout for possible stranded passengers who might gather but be unable to depart from the ports,” PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo said yesterday.

He said people who would be traveling from Matnog, Sorsogon to Allen, Samar through the roll-on, roll-off vessel might be stranded at the ports because the PCG does not allow ships to sail during bad weather.

Public support sought

In a related development, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje asked the public to help counter the adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon, including water shortages and forest fires.

Paje made the appeal after PAGASA announced that the country is now experiencing a mild case of El Niño.

He proposed that communities and the management boards of protected areas should adopt local ordinances or policies against smoking and open burning.

He said forest fires affect the livelihood of upland communities and endanger the country’s wildlife and their habitat. – With Evelyn Macairan, Rhodina Villanueva

 

BAVI BICOL BICOL AND CENTRAL LUZON BICOL REGION COMMANDER ARMAND BALILO EL NI ENVIRONMENT SECRETARY RAMON PAJE GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION SAWI TROPICAL STORM BAVI
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