‘Basyang’ now at 85 kph; nearing Surigao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 January) –  Tropical storm ‘Basyang’ continues to intensify as it approaches Surigao City, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph as of 4 p.m. Friday, up from 65 kph and gustiness of up to 80 kph as of 10 a.m.

Weather Bulletin 5 of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued at 5 p.m. Friday (January 31) said ‘Basyang’ (international name Kajiki), was located at 201 kms east of Surigao City and is expected to move west at 33 kph.

It said ‘Basyang’ is expected to be at 166 km northeast of Puerto Princesa City by Saturday afternoon and by Sunday afternoon, By Monday morning, it is expected to be at 529 km west northwest of Puerto Princesa City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibiliyu.

The bulletin also  said residents living in low lying and mountainous areas that are under Signals 1 and 2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides and to watch out for possible storm surges in coastal areas under Signal 2.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 5 to 15 mm per hour or moderate to heavy, within the 400 km diameter of the tropical storm.

Public Storm Warning Signal 2 remains hoisted over Caraga region and Camiguin province, with ‘Basyang’ expeted to make landfall “over Southern Leyte – Surigao del Norte” late Friday night or early Saturday morning,  the bulletin said.

Signal 2 has been raised over the provinces of Camiguin, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island, and the northern parts of Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte.

Signal 1 remains over Misamis Oriental and the rest of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte; Misamis Occidental, northern part of Bukidnon and Zamboanga del Norte.

All together, storm warning signals have been raised over nine Mindanao provinces: Camiguin, Dinagat, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon and Zamboanga del Norte.

In the Visayas, Signal 2 has been raised over Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor and Guimaras, while the same warning signal remains hoisted over Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, Samar and Camotes Island.

Signal 1 remains hoisted over Northern Samar, Aklan, Capiz and Antique and in Luzon, Signal 1 has been raised over Masbate and Palawan including the Calamian Group of Islands

Tropical depression Basyang is the second storm to hit Mindanao —   after ‘Agaton,’ the low pressure area that entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on January 11 and intensified into a tropical depression by January 17 and weakened into an LPA by January 20.

‘Agaton’ battered several regions in Mindanao, particularly Caraga and Davao regions. It  left  68 persons dead, 85 injured and nine still missing in Regions 9 (Western Mindanao or the Zamboanga region), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Southern Mindanao or the Davao regions) and Caraga, according to Situation Report 31 issued at 6 a.m. January 30 by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

It also affected 244,344 families or 1.14 million residents in 1,002 barangays in 118 towns in 16 provinces of Regions 10, 11, 12 (Southwestern Mindanao), Caraga and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.  Of this number, 16,751 families or 81,379 persons were displaced and served inside 205 evacuation centers, the NDRRMC report said.  (MindaNews)