The coastal town of Santa Ana is bracing for Typhoon “Ramon” (international code name: “Kalmaegi”), which was expected to make landfall in the northeastern part of Cagayan province late Monday or early morning of Tuesday, bringing record winds and rains and possibly causing strong waves, landslides and floods, authorities warned on Monday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the typhoon, which was packing winds from 60 to 120 kilometers per hour, was almost stationary over the weekend and remained over the sea.
As of Monday, typhoon signal No. 2 was hoisted in Cagayan, including Babuyan Islands, northern portion of Isabela (Santa Maria, San Pablo, Maconacon, Cabagan, Santo Tomas, Quezon, Delfin Albano, Tumaini and Divilacan), Apayao and Kalinga.
Typhoon signal No. 1 was raised over Batanes, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Northern Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran and Dinalungan) and the rest of Isabela.
Pagasa advised the public and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council concerned to take appropriate actions.
The weather bureau said sea travel, especially for small vessels, remains “risky” in the areas under signal No. 1 and seaboards of Northern Luzon.
As of Sunday noon, 98 people had moved to two evacuation centers in Cagayan Valley, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the region.
Santa Ana town has been strictly monitoring high-risk areas for floods and landslides where Typhoon Ramon is expected to make landfall, according to Mayor Nelson Robinion.
“We see to it that our rescue and relief operations groups are ready to respond to the possible effect of the typhoon in case it will make a landfall in our town,” Robinion said.
He added that they have enough supply of food for those who would be evacuated from different barangay (villages) that may be affected by landslides as well as communities near river banks that may also be affected by swelling rivers and residents near the seashore who may have to brace for big waves.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Region 2 said there were 39 families or 129 individuals who have been evacuated from the villages of Salungsong and Capacuan in SantaPraxedes town because of possible landslides.
Michael Conag of OCD-Region 2 said another 63 individuals voluntarily left Cadongdongan village for fear of being buried by possible landslides resulting from recent floods brought about the tail end of a cold front.
In Isabela province, the Ilagan-Divilacan Road remains closed to traffic over reported landslides.
Also impassable is the Cansan-Bagutario overflow bridge, which connects the still submerged towns of Cabagan and Santo Tomas.
The provinces of Isabela and Cagayan implemented a liquor ban starting 6 a.m. of Monday.
Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba suspended classes in all levels both in private and public schools for the safety of students.
Kalinga province also suspended classes from pre-school to high school levels as did Apayao province particularly in the towns of Conner, Pudtol and Calanasan.
A 5 p.m. Pagasa bulletin on Monday said the center of Ramon was spotted 125 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan.
The typhoon was moving north-northwest at 10 kilometers per hour (kph) with maximum sustained winds of up to 100 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 125 kph.
Pagasa said moderate with occasional to frequent heavy rains would fall Monday night over Cagayan (including the Babuyan Islands), Batanes, the northern portion of Isabela, Ilocos Norte and Apayao.
Pagasa said light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains would be experienced by the rest of Ilocos Norte, the rest of Isabela, Kalinga, Abra and Ilocos Norte.
Quirino (Nagtipunan and Maddela) and Aurora (Dipaculao, Casiguran and Dinalungan) would have light to moderate rains, according to Pagasa.
It warned residents in these areas against floods and rain-induced landslides.
WITH REPORT FROM FRANZ LEWIN EMBUDO