Philippines

Philippines: Tropical Storm "Ondoy" continues to loom as it moves to Central Luzon

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Tropical Storm "Ondoy" has accelerated further as it moves closer to Central Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour near center and gustiness of up to 100 kilometer per hour, the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) Operation Center reported.

In a report of PNRC Catanduanes, Aurora and Isabela Chapters to PNRC Chairman Richard Gordon, these provinces are experiencing light to moderate rains. However, all trips in sea ports bound for Albay and other areas in Catanduanes were cancelled for safety precautionary measures.

In Camarines Norte, PNRC Camarines Norte Chapter reported that the province is experiencing medium to heavy rain with no flooding incidents reported. Stranded passengers in various seaports already returned to their hometown/residences.

On the other hand, in Albay, PNRC Albay chapter reported that there were 286 stranded passengers at the Tabaco Port who are being assisted by port authorities and shipping companies.

According to the Provincial Office of Catanduanes and the Tabaco ports authority, they are ready to help and sustain the needs of the stranded passengers for one week. Staff and volunteers of PNRC Catanduanes chapter are on standby to give assistance to the stranded passengers.

In Marikina, around 114 families were evacuated in Malanday Elementary School and Bautista Elementary School due to heavy rains which caused flooding in the area. Staff and volunteers from PNRC Rizal Chapter and PNRC Marikina Branch are at the evacuation centers to distribute relief goods.

In Marikina, around 114 families were evacuated in Malanday Elementary School and Bautista Elementary School due to heavy rains which caused flooding in the area. Staff and volunteers from PNRC Rizal Chapter and PNRC Marikina Branch are at the evacuation centers to distribute relief goods.

Meanwhile, PNRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon enjoined Red Cross staff and volunteers in affected areas to continue monitoring and to be ready to give assistance 24/7.

"I enjoined Red Cross staff and volunteers from all the affected areas to continue monitoring and report to the PNRC Operation Center any untoward incident to their areas. Chapter Disaster Response Team should be on standby and volunteers in high risk areas should be advised to monitor 24/7," said Gordon.

Meanwhile, PNRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang commended the effort exerted by Red Cross chapters nationwide for their immediate action and preparedness on Typhoon Ondoy.

"This is a proof that we can not doubt the efforts and services given by our volunteers and staff to all Red Cross chapters nationwide. As we work together, we can give humanitarian service to Filipinos with immediacy and efficiency," said Pang.

Public Storm Weather Signal number 2 is raised in La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Northern Quezon, Polillo Island, Camarines Norte and Rizal while Signal number 1 is raised in Isabela, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Marinduque, Mindoro Provinces, Lubang Island, Southern Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Burias Island and Metro Manila.

This disturbance is expected to enhance the Southwest Monsoon and bring rains over Central and Southern Luzon and Visayas. Residents living in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes in areas affected by the Southwest Monsoon and those under signals #1 and #2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.