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Fishermen, miners told to suspend activities due to 'Pablo'

Posted at | Updated as of 12/03/12 5:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines – National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Benito Ramos on Monday appealed to small-scale miners and fishermen in Visayas and Mindanao to suspend their activities as typhoon "Pablo" approaches land.

Ramos said deaths may occur if small scale miners and fishermen do not heed the national and local government's advice against suspending their operations.

He particularly warned miners in Compostela Valley and Agusan provinces where landslides frequently occur as a result of strong rains.

"Two days ago binawalan na na naitn sila. Binabantayan na ito ng coast guard at barangay captains. [Para sa mga minero] nandyan ang Eastern Mindano Command at 4th Infantry Division ng Philippine Army," Ramos told radio dzMM.

"Umalis muna sila sa mga butas para maiwasan natin ang disgrasya. Nandyan naman ang lokal na pamahalaan at ang DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) para ma-augment ang pagkain nila habang binabawalan silang mangisda," he added.

Ramos hopes Pablo would lose its strength once it hits the Diwalwal and Diwata mountain ranges.

The NDRRMC said its operations have been placed on red alert status as the typhoon nears land.

PAGASA placed Surigao del Sur and the northern part of Davao Oriental under signal no. 2 and 22 areas under signal no. 1

It said Pablo was packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

The typhoon was spotted 645 kilometers southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur as of 6 a.m. It was moving west northwest at 24 kph.

PAGASA forecaster Rene Paciente said Pablo slightly changed its track, and will hit Surigao del Sur area on Tuesday morning.

"Sa ngayon, ang bagong tracking, bumaba ito ng bahagya. Papasok sa Hinatuan, lalabas sa Misamis Oriental and then sa Southern Negros and then northern Palawan," Paciente told dzMM.

Estimated rainfall is from 20 - 30 millimeters per hour (heavy - intense) within the typhoon's 600-km diameter.

Paciente said the direct effect of the typhoon will be felt Monday afternoon, when its outer spiral hits southern Mindanao.