Siony dumps rains as Rolly exits Philippines
Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms will persist over Apayao, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Norte and Kalinga until today, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Siony dumps rains as Rolly exits Philippines

Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - November 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The trough or extension of Tropical Storm Siony (international name Atsani) started to dump rains over parts of Northern Luzon yesterday as Typhoon Rolly moved away from the Philippine area of responsibility, state weather forecasters said.

Rolly, considered as the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far this year, is expected to weaken further into a tropical depression and exit the country today.

Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms will persist over Apayao, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Norte and Kalinga until today, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

PAGASA said as of 3 p.m. yesterday, the center of Siony was located at 655 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 65 kmh near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kmh.

Siony was projected to move north at 25 kmh.

No tropical cyclone wind signal due to Siony was raised as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

Tropical cyclone wind Signal No. 1 is likely to be raised over Cagayan Valley by tomorrow, weather specialist Ana Clauren said.

Siony is expected to intensify into a severe tropical storm as it approaches Northern Luzon areas, Clauren said.

“It may cross extreme Northern Luzon by Thursday night or Friday morning,” she said, adding that Siony’s track is “quite erratic.”

“Now it’s moving north, but it is expected to move northwest toward Batanes area or Cagayan Valley,” she said.

Residents of Central Luzon and Quezon province have been urged to prepare for Siony.

“The area of probability from the forecast tract is wide. It’s not just Northern Luzon that should prepare for the possible landfall, but also Central Luzon and Quezon province,” PAGASA senior weather specialist Chriz Perez said in a text message to The STAR.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience good weather apart from isolated rains due to thunderstorms.

P2.1 billion damage

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said Rolly left P2.1 billion in damage to infrastructure in the province’s second district alone.

Salceda said his constituents were heavily affected by Rolly and they need cash, relief goods and housing materials as well as restoration of power and telecommunication services.

Rep. Edcel Lagman of the first district of Albay said five of six areas in his district could not be accessed by all forms of communications.

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it would deliver relief goods to Bicol and other provinces hit by Rolly.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the company would initially deliver relief goods to Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Laguna, Quezon, Romblon and Sorsogon.

COVID-19 screening for evacuees

To prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 in evacuation centers, the government will undertake “symptoms screening” of all evacuees.

Instead of testing all evacuees, the Department of Health recommended screening and immediate isolation of those who are possibly infected with the virus, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing yesterday.

“Testing is ideal if we have the resources, but it is not recommended at this point. What we have recommended are the symptoms screening and assignment of safety officers in evacuation areas,” Vergeire said.

Safety officers will regularly monitor the evacuees and ensure that minimum health protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing are observed.

Data shows there are 96,543 families or over 340,000 individuals in various evacuation centers in seven regions hit by Rolly.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) said it’s up to local government units and their local disaster risk reduction and management councils to decide whether to use public schools as emergency evacuation centers.

Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said that DepEd is not prohibiting the use of public schools as evacuation centers as they have done in previous disasters.

Environmental group Greenpeace urged the government to declare a climate emergency due to the devastation brought by Rolly.

Greenpeace said by issuing a climate emergency declaration, President Duterte could strengthen the urgent “whole-of- government and whole-of-society” mobilization to respond to the climate crisis and protect the people.

Angat water level up

Heavy rains dumped by Rolly slightly raised the water level in Angat Dam while the Ipo and Bustos dams continued discharging water as of yesterday morning.

As of 8 a.m. yesterday, Angat’s water level was at 201.91 meters or up by 1.24 meters from the previous day’s 200.67 meters, but still 10.09 meters below its 212-meter normal high water level.

Operators of the Ipo and Bustos dams discharged 37.70 cubic meters and 78 cms of water, respectively, yesterday morning. – Mayen Jaymalin, Rainier Allan Ronda, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Delon Porcalla, Rhodina Villanueva, Michelle Zoleta, Cet Dematera

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