Typhoon Aghon leaves 3 dead in Quezon

Michelle Zoleta - The Philippine Star
Typhoon Aghon leaves 3 dead in Quezon
A ship washes ashore at Mauban port in Quezon province yesterday amid Typhoon Aghon.
Ryan Baldemor

LUCENA CITY, Philippines — Three persons, including an infant, were reported to have died during the onslaught of Typhoon Aghon in Quezon province.

The Quezon police provincial office or PRO 4-A yesterday said two men died when an acacia and a buli (palm) tree fell on their houses while they were asleep in San Antonio town and Lucena, respectively. 

A seven-month-old boy was found floating in Barangay Ilayang Polo in Pagbilao town.

Quezon province also reported 419 damaged houses as well as 156 barangays and 15,002 people affected by Aghon.

In Bicol, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported at least seven people injured and 10,349 others affected.

For Luzon and the Visayas, 8,465 families in 158 barangays were affected. The NDRRMC has yet to receive a report of fatalities.

President Marcos gave assurance yesterday that the government has readied P3 billion in standby funds and prepositioned relief goods to ensure faster and wider distribution of assistance to affected residents.

“We have distributed more than P1.2 million in humanitarian assistance, and we have prepared more than P3 billion worth of standby funds and prepositioned goods and stockpiles to ensure wider and faster assistance for our countrymen affected by typhoon Aghon,” the President said in a post on X.

“We can expect our agencies to continue supporting each community and ensuring the well-being of our citizens,” Marcos added.

In reports by disaster officials, Aghon (international name Ewiniar) affected 19,373 people in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions as of yesterday.

Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said the PNP has 11,000 Response and Standby Forces that are ready for deployment, if needed.

“Currently, 349 evacuation centers are operational nationwide, with the distribution of one in the National Capital Region, 153 in Calabarzon and 195 in Mimaropa. These centers are accommodating approximately 3,175 families, totaling around 14,196 individuals,” Fajardo said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) sent P1.3 million worth of family food packs to displaced families in Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Albay, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon.

Irene Dumlao, DSWD assistant secretary for disaster response management group, said another 5,000 family food packs were distributed to typhoon victims in Quezon.

“The DSWD had already prepositioned food packs and non-food items in strategic locations across the country,” Dumlao said at the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing, adding that the DSWD is at the “response stage” wherein immediate items like food packs, non-food items and hygiene and sleeping kits are distributed primarily to evacuation centers.

State of calamity

Lucena Vice Mayor Roderick Alcala said the city is already in a state of calamity, adding that some villages were affected by severe flooding.

Alcala also reported that Aghon destroyed several bridges and damaged houses, as well overturned a number of vehicles.

The Quezon provincial board was also expected to hold a special session yesterday to declare the entire province under a state of calamity.

Quezon Gov. Angelina Tan inspected several evacuation centers, including the Quezon Convention Center, and visited the badly hit towns, making sure that the evacuees are provided help.

Tan said the provincial government is working with the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, the Philippine Red Cross and other organizations to ensure that necessary help and assistance are given to the typhoon victims.

In Mauban town, a barge that was to deliver close to 10,000 tons of nickel to Rio Tuba in Palawan was reported to have drifted off the pier due to strong winds and waves.

Sea travel resumes

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) lifted the suspension of sea travel yesterday morning, allowing passengers to travel to their destinations.

As of noon, only 307 remain stranded at the ports in Bicol and Southern Tagalog as some vessels and motorboats were still not allowed to sail as a precautionary measure.

Based on data released by the PCG, there were 4,711 passengers stranded at the ports on Sunday.

At the airports, only six domestic flights – Manila to San Jose, Mindoro and Naga City and their return flights – were cancelled yesterday.

Aghon maintains strength

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Aghon is expected to maintain its strength until it leaves the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) tomorrow.

However, PAGASA senior weather specialist Benison Estareja said at a press conference that Aghon would weaken into a severe tropical storm when it exits the PAR.

“It is possible that Aghon will weaken into a severe tropical storm by Wednesday or Thursday,” Estareja said.

He added that Aghon “continues to move northeastward as it moves away from the country until it leaves PAR on Wednesday afternoon or evening. It has maximum sustained winds of 140 to 160 kilometers per hour while it passes the northern portion of the Philippine Sea.”

Aghon rapidly intensified into a typhoon over the coastal waters of Burdeos town in Quezon Sunday night. It made its ninth landfall over Patnongan Island that night.

Estareja said Tayabas town in Quezon received more than 400 millimeters of rain in just two days, or 2.5 times more than the expected monthly rain in the municipality.

Aside from Tayabas, PAGASA also recorded 226.5 millimeters of rain in Mulanay, Quezon; 152.2 millimeters in Albat, Quezon; 147.3 millimeters in Infanta, Quezon; 98.4 millimeters in Tanay, Rizal; 91.2 millimeters in Baler, Aurora and 83.8 millimeters in Tanay, Rizal.

“Areas to be directly affected by Typhoon Aghon include Cagayan Valley, Aurora and nearby Polillo Islands and northern portion of Camarines Norte,” Estareja said.

As of yesterday noon, Estareja said the eye of the typhoon was estimated at 100 km east southeast of Casiguran, Aurora with maximum sustained winds of 140 kph near the center, gustiness of up to 170 kph as it moves northeastward at 10 kph.

He said tropical cyclone wind signal No. 2 was hoisted over the southeastern portion of Isabela (Dinapigue, Palanan) and northern portion of Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran).

Tropical cyclone wind signal No. 1 was raised in the northeastern and southern portions of Isabela (Divilacan, San Mariano, San Guillermo, Jones, Echague, San Agustin, Ilagan City, Benito Soliven, City of Cauayan, Maconacon, Angadanan, Naguilian); eastern portion of Quirino (Maddela, Nagtipunan, Aglipay); southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya (Alfonso Castañeda); the rest of Aurora; northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta, Real) including Polillo Islands and northwestern portion of Camarines Norte (Paracale, Jose Panganiban, Vinzons, Capalonga), including Calaguas Islands.

On the other hand, Estareja said the southwesterly windflow enhanced by Aghon will bring moderate to heavy rains over Western Visayas and portions of Mimaropa in the next two days.

“Flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely, especially in areas that experienced considerable rainfall for the past several days,” Estareja added.

Gale warning was hoisted over the coastal waters of Cagayan (southern portion), Isabela, Aurora and the northern coastal waters of Quezon, including Polillo Islands. — Pia Lee-Brago, Helen Flores, Bella Cariaso, Sheila Crisostomo, Mark Ernest Villeza, Evelyn Macairan, Rudy Santos

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