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‘Quinta’ pummels Southern Luzon



CALAPAN City in Oriental Mindoro bears the brunt of typhoon ‘Quinta’ early Monday. It was under tropical cyclone wind signal No. 2. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CALAPAN MAYOR PANALIGAN

Two died, 14 were missing and more than 850,000 were affected when typhoon “Quinta” battered Southern Luzon and Bicol regions until early Monday, prompting evacuation and suspension of classes and government work.

One of the fatalities was reported in Cagayan Valley, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Camilo Cascolan told reporters.

In San Antonio, Quezon, one Angelito Buenaventura, 53, drowned when the tricycle he was riding in along with two others was swept by floodwaters at a spillway on Sunday night. Buenaventura’s companions survived.

The incident occurred hours before “Quinta” made landfall but state weather bureau PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) said the storm’s trough was already causing light to moderate rains that time.

Flooding incidents were noted in Laguna, Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Samar and Apayao while seven landslide incidents occurred in Laguna, Aklan, Samar and Apayao, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

“Quinta” also damaged Caraycaray Detour Bridge in Naval, Biliran and affected 33 roads in Cagayan, Laguna, Rizal, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Catanduanes, and Apayao, the Department of Public Works and Highways reported.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and National Resource Operations Center prepared family food packs and standby funds for distribution to local government units.

In areas where the typhoon passed, evacuations, floods, landslides, toppled trees and power interruptions were reported.

“There were power interruptions but we expected those,” Alex Masiglat, information officer at the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-CALABARZON, said.

Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor likened “Quinta” to typhoon “Tisoy,” which ripped off roofs and left 13 dead in Southern Luzon and Visayas in 2019.

“Quinta’s strong winds have been hitting us for almost six hours. We did not expect it to be this strong, although the rains are not that strong,” he said in a radio interview.

Some 27 families evacuated from Barangay Buhuan in Calapan City while electricity has been cut since Sunday evening and mobile phone signal remained weak.

A total of 24,736 people evacuated from 111 villages in Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon according to the OCD-Bicol.

Nearly 1,700 also evacuated in Quezon, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal, with Banton, Romblon likewise reporting filled evacuation centers.

Classes in several parts of Luzon, including Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, were suspended Monday, as strong wind and rain may interrupt with Internet connection.

“Power interruptions may also interrupt online classes,” Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez said in a statement.

Warning signals
Storm warning signal No. 3 was hoisted over Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Burias Island, the northern and western portions of Sorsogon, southern Quezon, Batangas, the southern and eastern portions of Laguna, northern Romblon, Marinduque, the northern portion of Oriental Mindoro, and the northern portion of Occidental Mindoro.

Despite the typhoon’s track in the south, some areas north of Metro Manila were also placed under storm warning signals.

Under signal No. 2 were Catanduanes, the northern portion of mainland Masbate, the rest of Sorsogon, the rest of Quezon including Polillo Islands, Rizal, Cavite, the rest of Laguna, Metro Manila, the southern portion of Pampanga, Bataan, the rest of Romblon, the rest of Oriental Mindoro, the rest of Occidental Mindoro and Calamian Islands.

Signal no. 1 was hoisted over Dingalan and San Luis of Aurora; the southern portion of Nueva Ecija; the southern portion of Tarlac; the rest of Bulacan; the rest of Pampanga; central and southern Zambales; El Nido, Taytay, and Cuyo Islands of Palawan, and the rest of Masbate.

Maritime woes
Philippine Ports Authority’s Terminal Management office (TMO) said facilities in Dingalan and Casiguran in Aurora province sustained no damage and all personnel on duty are safe.

In Bataan, Capinpin port is likewise in good condition while Lamao Port’s car parking canopy was damaged.

In Batangas where “Quinta” made landfall around 4 a.m., the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) responded to an incident involving MV Oceanic Explorer 3 that sank at vicinity 0.5 nautical miles off Keppel Shipyard in Barangay San Roque around 7 a.m.

The PCG search team rescued seven of eight crew members onboard and was looking for the missing personnel, Rodolfo Sarabia, as of press time.

The rescued crew members were identified as Tomas del Rosario, Jaime Mete Jr., John Paul Servando, Juliet Mayang, Andres Lazalita, Jove Muchillas and Archei Gallardo.

In Tingloy town, five crew members of MV RoRo12 were reported to have taken shelter in Bonito Island at the height of the storm.

NDRRMC-Bicol reported 12 fishermen missing in Bato, Panganiban and Gigmoto towns of Catanduanes.

Another report said six fishermen from Tabaco, Albay — Joshua Bora, Christopher Bora, Elorder Bora, Arnulfo Borral, Anthony Borral and Julius Boquero — were rescued in Barangay Talisay. Still missing was Joselito Ouapeuprecua.

The group has been out on sea since 21 October and was sailing home Monday when “Quinta” hit.