‘Paeng’ intensifies, kills 31, strands 500 as it nears PH

TROPICAL Storm Paeng (Nalgae) slightly intensified Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, as it moved west northwestward toward the Northern Samar-Sorsogon-Albay area Friday afternoon, with the storm forecast to further intensify to reach severe tropical storm category within 12 hours, weather bureau Pagasa said in its 8 p.m. Friday advisory.

But even before it makes landfall, it has already killed 31 people in Maguindanao del Norte, and stranded nearly 500 passengers in Central Visayas.

In a radio interview Friday, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said 16 persons were killed in the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat, 10 in Datu Blah Sinsuat and five in Upi due to landslides and flash floods caused by the continuous rains brought by Paeng.

The number of fatalities may still go up as Sinarimbo said seven people were reported missing in Datu Blah Sinsuat, while an entire community in Barangay Kusiong, at the base of Mount Minandar in Datu Odin Sinsuat, had allegedly been washed away.

In its 8 p.m. Friday bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the eye of the storm was 100 kilometers east northeast of Catarman, Northern Samar or 165 kilometers east of Juban, Sorsogon.

Paeng was packing maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center, and gusts of up to 105 km/h. It was moving west northwestward at 25 km/h.

It was forecast to make landfall in the vicinity of Albay or Sorsgon late evening, Friday (Oct. 28) or Saturday early morning and traverse the Bicol Peninsula. Between Saturday afternoon and evening, the center of Paeng may make another landfall over the east coast of Quezon, Pagasa said.

As of 8 p.m. Friday, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 2 was hoisted over:

*Luzon

Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Quezon including Pollilo Islands, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, the southern portion of Aurora, the central and southern portions of Nueva Ecija, the central and southern portions of Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan, the central and southern portions of Zambales, the northern and central portions of Oriental Mindoro, the northern and central portions of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Islands, and Romblon

*Visayas

Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, and the northern portion of Leyte

TCWS 1 was hoisted over:

*Luzon

The central and southern portions of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, the southern portion of Ilocos Sur, La Union, the rest of Aurora, the rest of Nueva Ecija, the rest of Zambales, Pangasinan, the rest of Tarlac, the rest of Oriental Mindoro, the rest of Occidental Mindoro, Calamian Islands, and Cuyo Islands

*Visayas

Southern Leyte, Cebu including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, Bohol, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Guimaras, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Siquijor, and the rest of Leyte

*Mindanao

Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands, the northern portion of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, the northeastern portion of Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, and the eastern portion of Misamis Oriental

Stranded in CV

In Central Visayas, 497 passengers were stranded in various ports Friday due to Paeng after the PCG Visayas suspended all trips from Cebu to several areas in the Visayas and Mindanao Friday that were placed under TCWS Number 1 as Paeng intensified while moving west northwest toward the Northern Samar-Sorsogon-Albay area.

In Cebu, 245 passengers were stranded, of which seven were from Bogo City, 18 from Oslob, 19 from Daanbantayan, 90 from Danao, and 111 from Hagnaya in San Remigio town.

Thirty-five passengers were also stranded in Tubigon, 167 in Tagbilaran City in Bohol, and 50 in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

A hundred rolling cargoes, 13 vessels and one motorbanca were also not able to travel.

The PCG advised passengers to monitor its advisories.

The Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Development Services has provided packed meals to the stranded passengers at Pier 1 in Cebu City.

Police help

Meanwhile, Central Visayas Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba inspected the ports and terminals in the city on Friday to ensure the security and safety of the stranded passengers.

A police assistance desk was also installed in the Pier 1 terminal to respond to concerns the stranded passengers may raise.

Alba directed Police Col. Ireneo Dalogdog to coordinate with the local government unit (LGU) to assist the passengers.

He advised the passengers not to go too far as they may be allowed to travel as soon as the storm signal in Cebu is lifted.

Under government guidelines, sea vessels in areas under storm signals are not allowed to sail.

Alba also ordered the chiefs of police in LGUs in Central Visayas to monitor the situation in their localities amid heavy rains that may cause flooding and landslides.

He said forced evacuations must be undertaken with local disaster offices and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Evacuation

In Cebu, the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) conducted forced evacuations in at least three barangays in the city due to heavy rains brought by Paeng Friday.

CDRMMO Head Buddy Alain Ybañez told SunStar Cebu that forced evacuation was conducted among the families in Barangays Casuntingan, Maguikay and Tingub, whose houses are situated within the three-meter easement zone along the Butuanon River.

Ybañez said at least 30 families in these barangays, most of whom are from Casuntingan, had been evacuated.

Ybañez said the evacuation was a preemptive measure in case the river overflowed and was also meant to prevent people from getting hit by landslides in their respective areas since these are considered danger zones.

Ybañez said this is also in response to the soil erosion that took place in Barangay Tingub last Wednesday.

He said they also responded to a soil erosion incident in Barangay Casili on Friday.(TPM, MKG, ANV, AYB, LMY)