Typhoon Karen could be ‘the most damaging’ storm this year, PAGASA warns
MALACAÑANG yesterday urged people to brace for tropical cyclone storm Karen as it intensifies and moves towards Metro Manila.
“We would like to encourage you know, encourage iyong mga kabayanan natin na mag-ingat, and to please make sure that ilayo po natin ang sarili natin sa peligro,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
Also yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard said that there were more than 6,000 passengers stranded in different ports in Luzon and Visayas because of Typhoon Karen.
As of Saturday noon, the PCG tallied a total of 6,692 stranded passengers, as well as 29 vessels, 30 motor bancas and 748 rolling cargoes.
Most of the stranded are in Bicol, with 2,756 passengers, 25 vessels, 14 motor bancas and 389 rolling cargoes.
A total of 1,705 passengers, 10 motor bancas and 164 rolling cargoes are also stranded in Southern Tagalog, while in northeastern Luzon, the tally is seven passengers and three motor bancas.
In Eastern Visayas, there are 1,220 passengers, one vessel and 195 rolling cargoes grounded; in Central Visayas, 960 passengers and two vessels; and in Western Visayas, 44 passengers, one vessel and three motor bancas.
PCG units were ordered to strictly implement the Coast Guard guidelines on movement of vessels during heavy weather.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) yesterday assured the public that the agency has been ready for tropical cyclone Karen.
NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad said since last week the agency has been in close coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in preparation for the impact of Typhoon Karen.
NDRRMC personnel especially in the areas of Quezon and Aurora provinces are on standby and ready to help victims of the typhoon.
“Nandun na sila para mabilis makatugon sa sama ng panahon,” NDRRMC said.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said five areas have been placed under signal number 3: Northern Quezon, Polilio Island, Aurora and Camarines Norte and Catanduanes in Region 5.
PAGASA also raised signal number 2 over part of Quezon province, Camarines Sur, Albay, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Zambales, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Viscaya, La Union, and Benguet.
Under signal number 1 are Sorsogon, Masbate, Isabela, Romblon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Barangay, Laguna, Cavite, Pampanga, Bataan, Ifugao, Northern Samar, Ticao, Burias Islands and Metro Manila.
Tropical cyclone Karen was spotted 95 kilometer in Virac, Catanduanes with strong wind 130 kph with gustiness 180 kph.
NDRRMC strongly advised all local government units to immediately coordinate with their local offices for immediate assistance in case of any concerned especially the safety of their constituents.
Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) cancelled hundreds of flights (International and local) due to bad weather brought by Typhoon Karen.
Among the canceled flights were Manila-Legazpi, Manila-Naga, Manila-Calbayog, Manila-Catarman and their respective return flights.
Affected passengers can rebook or refund within 30 days.