MANILA – Authorities are keeping a tight watch on rain-soaked provinces in Northern Luzon as the onslaught of Tropical Storm Siony (international name: Atsani) may trigger landslides in these areas.
In an interview with reporters Wednesday, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad said “Siony” may further intensify into a typhoon before hitting the extreme northern Luzon later this week.
“Maaring mag-landfall siya at the level of a typhoon so malakas pa rin yun. Then, (binabantayan natin) yung pag-uulan din. Ang worry natin kasi binaha (ng) two weeks ‘yung Cagayan (tsaka) sa effects yun ni ‘Quinta’, so that means pati yung Cordillera, so that means may saturation na ‘yung lupa at problema dyan yung landslide (It can make landfall at typhoon level and that is strong. We are also keeping a close watch on the rains. We are worried because Cagayan was flooded for two weeks, plus the effects of Typhoon Quinta. So that means the Cordillera is included, the soil might be saturated and landslides are likely to be a problem),” he said.
Jalad added members of the concerned NDRRMC response clusters are now meeting regarding preparations on the possible effects of “Siony”.
He added that they would also be meeting with disaster response officials of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, and the Cordillera Administrative Region regarding preparations for “Siony”.
Jalad also said they are still awaiting the final advisory of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration before calling for any preemptive evacuation.
As of Wednesday noon, “Siony” maintained its strength and strong winds continue to prevail over parts of Northern Luzon.
“Siony,” packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometer per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph, was last seen 755 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 is now raised over the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga), and the eastern portion of Babuyan Islands (Balintang Island, Babuyan Island, Didicas Island, and Camiguin Island, including their adjoining islets). Priam Nepomuceno / PNA – northboundasia.com