Thousands flee, classes suspended as Nona makes landfall

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Nona (international name Melor), which made landfall over Northern Samar and Sorsogon yesterday, was expected to dump rains over the Visayas and parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, today, the state weather bureau said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised public storm warning signal No. 3 over Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran and Masbate, including Ticao and Burias Islands.

Signal No. 2 was hoisted over Batangas, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, the rest of Quezon including Polillo Island, Eastern Samar, Samar and Biliran.

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Southern Zambales, Southern Aurora, Coron, Leyte, Northern Cebu including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, Aklan, Capiz, Northern Antique, Northern Negros Occidental and Northern Iloilo were placed under signal No. 1.

Classes in all levels are suspended today in Cavite, Cainta, Antipolo, Quezon, Laguna, the cities of Batangas and Lipa in Batangas, Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Masbate, Naga City, Northern Samar and Caibiran, Kawayan and Almeria in Biliran Island.

Classes in pre-school and elementary were suspended in Lucena City, Sorsogon and Catbalogan City. 

In Oriental Mindoro, classes are suspended until tomorrow.

PAGASA said Nona was projected to bring heavy to intense rains within its 400-kilometer diameter. It warned the public in areas under signal Nos. 3 and 2 against possible flashfloods and landslides. It also advised the public to brace for possible storm surges that could reach up to four meters (about 13.12 feet).

Rene Paciente, chief of PAGASA’s marine meteorological services section, said Nona is expected to be 110 kilometers south of Manila this afternoon.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the eye of the typhoon was spotted over Bulusan, Sorsogon, packing winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

It is forecast to move westward at 17 kph.

200-km radius

State weather forecasters said the typhoon has a 200-kilometer radius and its effects will be felt in places far from the point of landfall.

Aurelio said Nona is likely to weaken into a storm this afternoon due to its interaction with landmass and the intrusion of the cold northeast monsoon to its circulation.

Nona, with winds of 150 kph and gustiness of up to 185 kph, was forecast to move westward at 17 kph and was expected to make a second landfall in Sorsogon last night.

The 14th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, Nona is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday. 

Remain alert

Malacañang has called on the public to remain alert even as it gave assurance that concerned government agencies would ensure timely and relevant response in typhoon-affected areas.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has prepositioned P25,034,400.47 in standby funds while the Department of Health prepared logistical equipment in its field offices.

Lacierda advised the public to follow the Facebook and Twitter accounts of PAGASA for updates on the typhoon.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno directed all executive judges in areas covered by storm signal No. 3 or higher to take all necessary measures, including suspension of work.

“Executive judges are directed to ensure that court records are protected and safeguarded from damage arising from typhoon,” Sereno stated in her directive.


As of noontime yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said 6,795 passengers were stranded while 75 vessels, 15 motorized boats and 466 rolling cargoes were not allowed to sail due to Nona.

The PCG said 2,226 of the passengers were stranded in Manila; 1,125 in Batangas; 1,772 in Oriental Mindoro; 131 in southern Quezon, 69 passengers in Northern Quezon and 68 in Romblon.

Around 300 passengers were waiting in Albay, 630 in Sorsogon, eight passengers in Catanduanes and 25 in Masbate.

The PCG in Central Visayas said it recorded 413 passengers in Cebu and the PCG in northeastern Luzon said six passengers were stranded in Ormoc.

Over 1,000 passengers were stranded in Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate.


The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 724,839 individuals or 161,014 families were evacuated in Albay, Sorsogon and in Northern Samar.

The bulk of evacuees, more than 589,000 of them, were from Albay. 

“The people here are very vulnerable but they are safe,” Albay Gov. Joey Salceda told ABS-CBN News Channel.

“This is not a pre-emptive evacuation but a large scale rescue operation… We are doing our best to achieve zero casualty,” Salceda added.

Edgar Posadas, civil defense director of Eastern Visayas, said he has received reports that parts of northern Samar are flooded.

The National Food Authority said it has prepositioned 57,368 bags of rice for Albay’s first district, another 80,649 for the second district and 10,222 bags for the third district.

The NDRRMC said 40 domestic flights bound for Manila, Legazpi, Virac, Tacloban, Cebu, Naga and Calbayog were cancelled. – With Delon Porcalla, Alexis Romero, Edu Punay, Evelyn Macairan, Celso Amo, Ricky Bautista, Rudy Santos














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