Storm signals lowered as 'Quiel' moves away from PH

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Oct 01 2011 06:25 PM | Updated as of Oct 02 2011 07:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – The state weather bureau lowered public storm signals across Luzon Saturday evening, as Typhoon “Quiel” continues to move farther away from the country.

The provinces of Benguet, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan and Zambales are still under signal number 2.

Under signal number 1 are Ilocos Norte, Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan, Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands.

The storm signal warning in Metro Manila has been lifted.

Although Quiel is already over the West Philippine Sea, it would still bring rains from the southwest monsoon, said PAGASA.

PAGASA also warned residents in northern and central Luzon of the possibility of storm surges.

“Although nasa West Philippine Sea na ang bagyo, nandoon pa din ang panganib ng storm surge kasi umiikot pa din ang bagyo. Kaya sa Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales at Bataan ay dapat mag-monitor pa din ng possible storm surges,” said PAGASA officer-in-chief and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Graciano Yumul.

Quiel made landfall on Dinapigue, Isabela at 9 a.m. Saturday. It is expected to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Sunday morning.

“By Sunday, it will be over for northern Luzon but it will just start for central Luzon and the National Capital Region because the southwest monsoon will be sucked in by the typhoon,” said Yumul.

1 killed, 1 hurt in Mt. Province

The typhoon left 1 person dead and another hurt, according to a report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense administrator Benito Ramos identified the victim as Sonny Marcos, 35 years old.

Marcos, who was onboard a passenger van, was buried by a landslide that occurred along Hansema highway in Gonogon, Bontoc, Mountain Province around 10 a.m. Saturday.

Another passenger, Melody Gomez, was injured in the same incident and was immediately brought to the Bontoc General Hospital to receive medical treatment.

More rains in Bulacan, Pampanga

PAGASA stressed that Typhoon Quiel would still bring rains to central Luzon, particularly Bulacan and Pampanga, due to the southwest monsoon.

Both provinces were still submerged in floods caused by Typhoon “Pedring”.

“More rains are expected in central Luzon, in Pampanga and Bulacan, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening and on Sunday,” said Yumul.

In Bulacan, heavy flooding sent residents to the roofs of their homes.

Yumul said this happened because the residents did not heed the warnings of local authorities.

“They were forewarned but there was no evacuation done. We saw people standing on their roof, which is something that shouldn’t be happening right now in the Philippines. We have seen a lot of these things. ‘Ondoy’ was just 2 years ago and apparently we forgot the lessons of Ondoy,” he said.

Yumul added that the release of water from the dams, particularly Angat and Ipo dams, did not cause the massive flooding.

“You can look at all the scientific computations and we can really prove that the dam openings would only contribute a maximum of 5% to the floods we see now in Pampanga and Bulacan. The water came from the run-off from the mountains, due to rains dropped by Pedring,” said Yumul.

As more rains were expected, Yumul said residents in the area should eva.cuate.

“That is non-negotiable. Dapat lahat ng mga tao na nasa bubong ngayon, dapat tanggalin doon,” he said.

Another weather disturbance

Meanwhile, PAGASA is monitoring a weather disturbance that may develop into a low pressure area (LPA) located east of the Philippine Sea.

PAGASA said there is a possibility that the weather disturbance could turn into a storm when it enters PAR on Monday.

“By Monday papasok siya sa ating area of responsibility, at pwedeng maging bagyo din ito,” said forecaster Mario Palafox