‘Pablo’ makes landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental; storm signals raised over 24 of 26 Mindanao provinces

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 December) –  Typhoon ‘Pablo’ (international name Bopha) made landfall over Baganga, Davao Oriental at 4;45 a.m. Tuesday, placing 24 of 26 Mindanao provinces under public storm warning signals, 17 of these under Storm Signal 3.

Only Sulu and Tawi-tawi out of the 26 Mindanao provinces have not been placed under any public storm warning signal as of the 5 a.m. Severe Weather Bulletin Number 7 of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical  Services Administration (PAGASA)

View pablo: baganga in a larger map

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in its Situation Report 5 as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, reported 37,372 persons had evacuated to municipal gyms and schools in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte

Storm signal 3 had been hoisted over 17 provinces,  signal 2 over four and signal one over three others as of the 5 a.m. advisory.  Twenty four hours earlier, only 13 of Mindanao’s 26 provinces were placed under storm signals 1 and 2, with only Surigao del Sur and the northern part of Davao Oriental under the latter.

Earlier expected to make landfall in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur,  Pablo was located, based on satellite and surface data, at 150 kms southeast of Hintuan at 1 a.m.,  70 kms on the eastern coast of Davao Oriental at 2 a.m. ,  50 kms as of 3 a.m. , and 40 kms on the eastern coast of Davao Oriental at 4 a.m.

At 4 a.m. Tuesday, the eye of the typhoon was located, based on satellite and surface data, at 40 kilometers east of the eastern coast of Davao Oriental, packing  maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph, moving at 26 kph, PAGASA reported.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 15 – 30 mm per hour, classified as “heavy – intense” within the 600 km diameter of the typhoon.

PAGASA said ‘Pablo’ is expected to  be 180 kms southwest of Roxas City by Wednesday morning and at 230 km  northwest of Puerto Princesa City as of Thursday morning and at 780 km west of Metro Manila by Friday morning.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday in Mindanao,  Storm Signal 3 was raised over Surigao del Norte Siargao, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Davao del Norte including Samal Island and Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur.  The last three provinces were under Storm Signal 2 as of 11 p.m. Monday.

Storm signal 2 was hoisted over Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga Sibugay and Maguindanao while Basilan, Sarangani and South Cotabato were placed under Storm Signal 1.

Under Signal 3, winds of 101 to 185 kph are expected in at least 18 hours; under Signal 2, winds of 61 to 100 kph  are expected in at least 24 hours while under Signal 1, winds of  45 to 60 kph are  expected within the next 36 hours.

The weather bureau’s advisory said the effects of Storm signal 3 include heavy damage to agriculture,  some large trees uprooted; majority of nipa and cogon houses unroofed or destroyed; considerable damage to structures of light to medium construction; moderate to heavy disruption of electrical power and communication services; and travel by land, sea and air is dangerous

“Moderate damage to agriculture” is expected in areas under Storm Signal 2, along with rice and corn adversely affected; few large trees uprooted,  large number of nipa and cogon houses partially or totally unroofed, some old galvanized iron roofing may roll off, and travel by all types of sea vessels is risky.

Expected under Storm Signal 1 are broken twigs and branches of trees, some banana plants may tilt or land flat on the ground, rice in flowering stage may suffer significant damage, some nipa and cogon houses may be partially unroofed and sea travel of small seacrafts and fishing boats is risky.

The NDRRMC in its Situation Report 5 as of 6 a.m. Tuesday reported a total of 8,283 families or 41,608 persons had evacuated to municipal gyms, schools and evacuation centers in Visayas and  Mindanao.

Of these, 7,436 families or 37,372 persons are  from Mindanao: 1,060 persons in Cagayan and Iligan – the two cities hardest hit by typhoon Sendong on December 16-17 last year; 810 persons in Caraga, Baganga,Cateel and Boston towns and Mati City in Davao Oriental; 33,521 persons in Surigao del Sur’s Hinatuan, Lingig, Bislig City, Cagwait, Tandag, Carrascal and Lanuza (the last four mistakenly included under Surigao del Norte) and 3,836 in Surigao del Norte; and 15 in Santiago, Agusan del Norte.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews)