MANILA - Weather bureau PAGASA hoisted Storm Signal No. 3 in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon as Typhoon Santi (international codename Mirinae) is forecast to make landfall Friday.
PAGASA weather branch chief Nathaniel Cruz said that as of 4 p.m. Friday, the storm was sighted 230 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon and moving at 24 kph.
Packing winds of 150 kph near the center and gusts of up to 185 kph, the typhoon is expected to make landfall in Quezon between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m.
Cruz said the storm will cross Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and then Metro Manila before heading towards the South China Sea by Saturday afternoon.
The weather bureau also hoisted Storm Signal No. 3 over Quezon province including Polillo Island, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.
Storm Signal No. 2 is hoisted over Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Occidental Mindoro, Albay and Burias Island.
Storm Signal No. 1 is hoisted over Isabela, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, Calamian Group, Northern Samar and Northern Panay.
"Expect this storm to bring heavy winds and heavy rain," Cruz said.
Quezon braces for 'Santi'
Provincial governor Rafael Nantes said the provincial disaster coordinating council has already conducted preemptive evacuations from coastal areas in Quezon province.
Nantes said residents living in coastal areas in Polilio Island and the towns of Real, Infanta and General Nakar have been evacuated to schools.
He said they have also prepositioned food supplies and emergency response teams and equipment in anticipation of the typhoon's landfall.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has also asked local officials in areas expected to be hit by the typhoon to evacuate residents from areas prone to landslide and flashfloods.
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) has advised the public to stock up on food and non-food items enough for three days in anticipation of the typhoon's landfall.
NDCC spokesman Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres said the NDCC had an inter-agency meeting on Friday morning to check on the government's operational readiness to respond to the effects of Santi.
Also checked during the meeting was the stockpiling of relief goods that may be needed by those who may be affected by the weather disturbance and the deployment of personnel and equipment needed in relief and response operations.
Torres said the NDCC is advising owners to fold or bring down their billboard tarpaulins, saying this may contribute to the possible toppling of the steel frames and cause accidents.
“Aside from the collective preparations being undertaken, individual family preparedness is encouraged such as readying a 72-hour survival kit,” said Torres.
“Recommended contents of such kit are compact food and rice stocks stored in [plastic] containers,” said Torres.