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Typhoon signal up as 'Santi' intensifies; dams urged to release water

October 29, 2009 8:08am
At least four areas were placed under Storm Signal No. 1 as Typhoon "Santi" (Mirinea) intensified further and continued moving toward Luzon Thursday.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) also suggested that at least four dams should consider releasing water early.

"Kritikal dito ang Angat, San Roque, Pantabangan, pati ang Magat. Mahusay sigurong pag-aralan ito. kung maraming tubig ang madadala ng bagyo… pwedeng magpakawala na ng tubig habang mas maaga (Angat, San Roque, Pantabangan and Magat dams have critical water levels. It would be wise to consider releasing water early)," Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said in an interview on dzXL radio.

He said Santi, which entered Philippine territory Wednesday night, is expected to bring much rain, and have winds more powerful than Typhoon Pepeng (Parma), which pummeled northern Luzon and caused severe flooding in Pangasinan province and deadly landslides in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Nilo said that if Santi maintains its course, it will likely affect Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

Call for preparedness

For his part, Defense Secretary and National Disaster Coordinating Council chairman Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said it is crucial that the areas concerned are prepared.

"As much as we can nagpeprepara kami (We have already prepared for this as much as we can)," Teodoro said in an interview on dzXL radio.

Pagasa forecaster Rene Pamil, on the other hand, said Santi may exit early as it is moving relatively fast at 26 kph.

"Bibilis po, mga dalawang araw lalabas na po siya (It is moving fast. It may be out of Philippine territory after two days)," Pamil said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Santi's location

Pagasa's 5 a.m. advisory said at least four areas are under Storm Signal No. 1: Isabela, Aurora, Northern Quezon, and Polillo Islands.

Residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes in these areas were advised to take all precautions against flash floods and landslides.

The Coast Guard automatically bars travel in these areas by vessels lighter than 1,000 tons.

As of 4 a.m., Pagasa said Santi was 1,080 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

It is moving west at 26 kph and is expected to be 580 km east of Casiguran, Aurora Friday morning, and 100 km east of Casiguran, Aurora Saturday morning. By Sunday morning it is expected to be 180 km west of Dagupan City. - GMANews.TV
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