‘Basyang’ makes landfall over Siargao, Dinagat; now near Cebu

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/31 January) —  Tropical storm ‘Basyang’ made landfall over Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island early Friday evening and as of 10 p.m. was already in the vicinity of Ubay, Bohol and had slightly weakened as it was approaching Cebu.

Weather Bulletin 6 of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued at 11 p.m. Friday (January 31) said ‘Basyang’ (international name Kajiki), as of  10 p.m., had “slightly weakened” and was now packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph, moving westward at 39 kph.

Basyang is expected to cross Cebu City, Negros Provinces, Guimaras, Southern Panay, Northern Palawan and will exit the West Philippine Sea, the bulletin said.

Earlier at around 6 p.m., Basyang made landfall on Siargao Island and on Dinagat Islands province at  around 7:45 p.m. the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) reported.

The PIA also quoted Surigao del Norte Information Officer Annette Villaces as saying that as of  4 p.m., the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Surigao had recorded a total of 320 passengers and 95 vehicles stranded at Lipata Port in Surigao City while PPA Surigao recorded a total of 320 passengers and 95 vehicles stranded at Lipata Port terminal while 23 passengers bound for Cebu and Siargao were  stranded at the City Port terminal bound for Cebu and Siargao

In Dinagat province, the PIA quoted public information officer Ma. Jane Mayola, Provincial Information Oficer) as saying the whole province was experiencing total blackout and that forced evacuation was  ongoing in all coastal barangays.

The weather bulletin also said ‘Basyang’ is expected to be at 306 km northwest of Puerto Princesa City by Saturday evening and at 1,343 kms west northwest of Puerto Princesa City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

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)