Typhoon Rolly exits Philippines

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Typhoon Rolly exits Philippines
A resident starts rebuilding his home in Virac, Catanduanes yesterday as Typhoon Rolly exited the country. The province is among the most devastated by the typhoon.
Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Rolly left the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday night after leaving a trail of destruction in Southern Luzon.

As of 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the center of Rolly, the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far this year, was spotted 615 kilometers west of Subic Bay in Zambales.

Rolly packed winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the typhoon was expected to slowly move toward the southern portion of Vietnam.

PAGASA said there is a high probability that Rolly would weaken into a tropical depression prior to its landfall over southern Vietnam “due to unfavorable conditions.”

Rolly lashed Bicol provinces and other parts of Southern Luzon on Sunday, leaving 24 people dead and damage to infrastructure worth more than P5 billion.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health gave P20 million in assistance to government-run hospitals and other health facilities in Bicol provinces.

A C-130 plane brought boxes of food packs and tents from the Department of Social Welfare and Development for typhoon victims.

The Philippine Coast Guard’s BRP Gabriela Silang brought food packs, bottled water, mosquito nets as well as kitchen, sleeping and hygiene kits.

Emergency employment will be provided to an initial 10,000 displaced workers in Bicol, Calabarzon and Mimaropa, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Mobile services

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications said mobile services in Catanduanes were restored yesterday.

”We used our own aircraft to bring our crew to Catanduanes to repair downed equipment so we can immediately connect the province to the rest of the country,” PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart president Al Panlilio said.

Panlilio said Smart is providing free calls and cell phone charging to residents of typhoon-hit areas in Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Sur, Marinduque, Pampanga, Sorsogon, Tarlac and Zambales.

Globe Telecoms Inc. said network coverage was restored in Metro Manila, Rizal, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Sorsogon, Samar and Western Samar.

Globe said all cell sites in Catanduanes and Camarines Sur are fully operational.

Explain absence

As this developed, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) yesterday confirmed that 10 mayors were asked to explain their alleged absence in their areas at the height of the typhoon.

DILG spokesman Jonathan Malaya said show cause orders were issued on Tuesday.

Malaya withheld the identities of the mayors, saying the DILG wants to give them an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Fake solicitations

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) warned the public against falling prey to fake solicitations by unscrupulous groups.

“Coordinate only with our focal person through the given contact number and deposit only through our published accounts with the Development Bank of the Philippines,” NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal said. – Richmond Mercurio, Mayen Jaymalin, Robertzon Ramirez, Michael Punongbayan, Neil Jayson Servallos

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