Classes suspended in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes
MANILA (UPDATE) - Typhoon Tisoy has entered the Philippine area of responsibility Saturday afternoon and is expected to bring heavy rains and thunderstorms across Luzon, just as the 30th Southeast Asian Games was set to formally open.
In an update, state weather bureau PAGASA said the weather system (international name: Kammuri) entered the country at 4 p.m.
The center of the typhoon was seen 1,165 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph. It moved west southwest at 15 kph.
Tisoy is expected to make landfall over the Bicol region between Monday afternoon and early Tuesday morning, PAGASA said.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1, where 30 kph to 60 kph winds may be expected in the next 36 hours, was raised over Eastern Samar and the eastern section of Northern Samar (the towns of Laoang, Palapag, Mapanas, Gamay, Lapinig, Catubig and Las Navas).
PAGASA said Signal No. 1 may also be raised over the rest of Northern Samar, Samar, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon in its next weather update.
It earlier said the weather system was "less likely" to develop into a super typhoon, but this escalation has not been ruled out.
On Monday, Tisoy is expected to bring occasional to frequent heavy rains over the Bicol Region, Samar provinces, and Biliran. Moderate to occasional heavy rains, meanwhile, may be expected over Romblon, Marinduque, and Quezon.
Frequent to continuous rains may also be expected over Metro Manila, Southern and Central Luzon, where several SEA Games events will be held until Dec. 11.
PAGASA advised residents in these areas, especially those at risk of floods, "to take appropriate actions, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates."
The weather bureau also advised against sea travel in areas that may soon be placed under storm signals, the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon, and the country's eastern seaboards "due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions."
Local governments in Albay and Catanduanes, areas on the path of the storm, began preparations early.
In Legazpi City, disaster officials were on full alert, while residents have packed their things for possible evacuation. Residents of Camalig, Albay harvested their crops early.
Catanduanes province on the east coast of Luzon, where the storm is expected to make first pass, has placed rescue crews and equipment, and hospitals on alert.
The provincial capitol has ordered preemptive evacuation in high-risk areas and has also enforced a liquor ban.
Classes and work in government offices have been suspended on Monday, said Catanduanes Gov. Shirley Abundo.
Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte also suspended classes in all public and private schools in the province starting Monday until such order is lifted.
The Land Transportation Office in Bicol has, meanwhile, suspended bus trips to ports on Saturday morning to avoid stranding passengers. The weather bureau said sea travel may have to be cancelled in areas on the path of the typhoon.
On Friday, Games officials said a contingency plan has been prepared for outdoor sports in case the typhoon affects sporting venues. Indoor sports will continue as long as there is power supply, said Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) chief operating officer Ramon Suzara.
"All competition managers in all sports already prepared a contingency plan, even without this incoming typhoon. Everything's in place... We're ready for this," he told reporters.
- with reports from Dennis Datu and Karren Canon, ABS-CBN News