TYPHOON “Rosita” continued to weaken after it made landfall in Isabela early yesterday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
Weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said Rosita is expected to even get weaker into a severe tropical storm today because of its continued interaction with the cold northeast monsoon or “hanging amihan.”
Rosita, which made landfall in Dinapigue town at around 4 a.m., is expected to exit the country this afternoon.
Classes are suspended in all levels today in Cagayan, Isabela, and Bayombong in Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Aurora, Apayao, La Trinidad in Benguet, Mountain Province, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Dagupan City, and Pangasinan.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Center said storm surges reaching three meters were experienced in the coastal towns of La Union and Pangasinan, two meters in Ilocos Sur, and a meter in Ilocos Norte.
The NDRRMC said almost 3,000 families or about 10,000 persons from Cagayan Valley (Region 1), Ilocos (Region 2), and Central Luzon (Region 3) have been preemptively evacuated as of yesterday.
From Monday afternoon’s 150 kph, the typhoon’s maximum sustained winds near the center dropped to 125 kph, with gusts of up to 190 kph as of 4 p.m. yesterday (from 185 kph on Monday).
Rosita accelerated to 25 kph from 15 kph, moving west-northwest track.
The eye of the typhoon was spotted some 125 km northwest of Dagupan City, Pangasinan at 4 p.m. yesterday.
Aurelio said Rosita exited the country’s landmass via La Union at 2 p.m. yesterday.
However, as of 5 p.m. yesterday, many areas in Luzon were still under tropical cyclone warning signals.
Pangasinan and La Union were placed under signal No. 3; Abra, Ilocos Sur, Benguet, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Zambales under signal No. 2; and Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Kalinga, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Aurora, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas under signal No. 1.
Aurelio said good weather is expected in most parts of the country beginning tomorrow or on All Saints’ Day as the typhoon head towards China.
Four dams in Luzon — Magat, Ambuklao, Binga and San Roque — began releasing water in anticipation of more rains from Rosita.
PAGASA hydologist Aileen Abelardo said Magat dam in Isabela opened four gates with a total discharge of 1,622 cubic meters per second (cms); Ambuklao in Benguet, three gates, total discharge of 394.86 cms; Binga dam in Benguet, one gate, 147.52 cms; and San Roque dam in Pangasinan, one gate, and 337 cms.
NDRRMC spokesman Edgar Posadas said the agency is validating reports about a missing person in Perez, Quezon after a boat reportedly capsized early Monday. Four other passengers of the capsized boat were safe.
The NDRRMC also said almost 2,000 passengers were stranded in different ports in Luzon and the Visayas while 189 rolling cargoes, 11 vessels, and a motor banca were also not allowed to sail due to rough waters.
Malacañang said about P1.38 billion worth of stocks and funds have been placed on standby by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Presidential spokesman and concurrent Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo reiterated the NDRRMC Operation Center is on red alert, which means concerned disaster-related agencies are now on standby 24/7. ( A. Lopez de Leon, R. Africa and E. Orias , Malaya)