MANILA - Authorities have started evacuating residents in parts of Luzon as typhoon Rosita churned towards the region on Monday, threatening to unleash possible floods, landslides and storm surges.
Rosita is expected to hit land in the Isabela-Aurora area early Tuesday, 2 days before millions of Filipino Catholics troop to cemeteries to honor their dead during the All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day holidays.
Coastal areas in Isabela have been experiencing rains and strong winds since Sunday night, prompting local officials to move residents to safer ground, said Governor Faustino Dy.
Farmers in the province have harvested their remaining corn and rice crops that were not damaged by typhoon Ompong, which slammed into northern Luzon in September, he told radio DZMM.
Ompong inundated farmlands in northern Luzon and unleashed landslides that killed at least 75.
Cagayan on Monday also started evacuating residents from coastal areas and along the Cagayan River, said Governor Manuel Mamba.
He urged the national government to set up a rehabilitation fund for the province amid the potential damage that Rosita could leave.
The emergency shelter assistance fund for the repair of some 18,000 houses destroyed by typhoon Ompong in September has just been released, but the local government has yet to receive money for repairing damaged schools, he said.
A liquor ban will be implemented in Cagayan at 6 p.m., Mamba added.
The surfing province of La Union, meanwhile, banned residents from frolicking in its seas starting Sunday.
Rosita will dump moderate to heavy rains that may trigger floods and landslides in northern and Central Luzon starting Monday night, said state weather bureau PAGASA.
Storm surges, it added, are possible over the coastal areas of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan, Isabela, and Aurora.
The typhoon is expected to leave the country on Wednesday, but its outer bands will continue dumping rains until All Souls' Day, the agency said.
Rosita has forced the cancellation of Monday's classes in several northern areas.
With a report from Micaella Ilao, ABS-CBN News