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Typhoon Juan leaves many in Northern Luzon in the dark

October 18, 2010 6:38pm
Updated 10:30 a.m., Oct. 19 - The strongest typhoon in four years roared through Northern Luzon Monday and plunged entire provinces into a state of darkness and silent cell phones. Damage to infrastructure knocked out power and telecommunications, hampering efforts to reach loved ones in the eye of tropical cyclone Juan, which left 7 people dead and nine people injured.

After devastating parts of Northern Luzon on Monday, super typhoon "Juan" (international name: Megi) moved toward the South China Sea on Tuesday but not before bringing rains to Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Metro Manila and Central Luzon can expect rains from "Juan" for Tuesday.

"Yung circulation ng bagyong 'Juan' may kalakihan, kaya kahit papaalis si 'Juan,' ang pinakabuntot niya kasama ang Metro Manila, halos umabot pa ... Asahan natin ang kalakhang Manila makakaranas ng pag-ulan at bugso ng hangin," PAGASA forecaster Buddy Javier said in an interview on dzBB radio.

(The circulation of 'Juan' is rather wide. Its tail end is affecting Metro Manila, so we can expect more rains and winds.)

Javier said their projections indicate that "Juan" may not exit Philippine territory until at least Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Communication problems

Smart Communications, a telecommunications company, reported that its services in Isabela and Cagayan were affected by the typhoon but claimed a 95-percent service restoration those areas by 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Smart said it sent to the affected areas generators and fuel good for five days.

Globe Telecoms, on the other hand, reported that 115 base stations (2G), 33 nodes (3G) and two WIMAX sites in Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera were affected by the typhoon.

Sun Cellular reported that its 52 sites were down in Cagayan Valley due to power outages and strong winds. The local telephone network was also down.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered public telecommunication entities to make available technical personnel on a 24/7 basis and to provide sufficient standby generators with enough fuel.

Tropical Cyclone Warning:
Typhoon "JUAN" (MEGI)
Tuesday, 19 October 2010, 5 a.m.
(60-100 kph winds)
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Abra
  • La Union
  • Pangasinan
  • Zambales
(30-60 kph winds)
  • Apayao
  • Cagayan
  • Kalinga
  • Mt. Province
  • Isabela
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Aurora
  • Tarlac
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • Bataan
  • Cavite
  • Lubang Is.
  • Metro Manila
"Juan" has left seven people dead and nine others injured on Tuesday morning, a day after it made landfall in Northern Luzon.

In its 6:00 a.m. report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the latest fatality, Andres Realina, 36, of Irisan, Baguio City, died after being pinned down by a tree.

NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said the other fatalities were from Pangasinan.

“Pito na ngayon ang confirmed dead, apat sa Pangasinan ... Kagabi namatay pero ngayon na-recover ang katawan. Ang isa tinamaan ng kidlat sa Mangatarem, patay. Ang tatlo sa San Fabian caused by falling tree ," he said in an interview on dzBB radio.

(Seven have been confirmed dead, four of them in Pangasinan. One was hit by lightning in Mangatarem while three were killed after a tree fell on their house in San Fabian.)

Nine persons injured

The NDRRMC said at least nine people were injured, including:
  • Joseph Sabben, 5, Sta. Ana, Cagayan, hit by fallen live wire;
  • Two women hit by collapsed glass wall in Tuguegarao City;
  • Two DPWH personnel hit by collapsed LTO wall in Solana, Cagayan;
  • Joanna Marie Respicio, 1, Rizal, Kalinga;
  • Abner Riponiar, 29, Baguio City;
  • Antonio Mendoza Jr., 49, Tabuk, Kalinga, and
  • Maribeth Lumawig, 29, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.

    Impassable roads

    Several key roads were closed, adding to the feeling of desolate isolation. Early indications are that government appeared more prepared and determined than usual, applying forced evacuation in vulnerable areas that prevented even more deaths. But government could not prevent widespread fear and even terror caused by howling winds in the dead of night.

    As of Tuesday, the roads that are still impassable were:
    Daang Maharlika from Tuguegarao City to Cauayan City, not passable
    due to fallen trees and electric posts;
  • Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road, Marnas Bridge, Tanglagan Section;
  • Lenneng-Cabugao Road closed due to landslides;
  • Apayao-Ilocos Norte Road, saddle section closed due to swelling of
    Maranas River;
  • Rabaw Section Km 72 closed due to fallen trees;
  • Mt. Province Boundary-Calanan Road Bannagao Section, due to soil and
    rock slides;
  • Mt. Province Boundary-Calanan Road Dallimono Section;
  • Mt. Province-Ilocos Sur Road via Tue; Mt. Province-Cagayan via
    Tabuk-Enrile Road, Makutiti in Ampawilen, Sadanga; and Mamaga,
    Sadanga, closed due to landslides;
  • Baguio-Bontoc Road, Gonogon Section, closed due to landslides;
  • Banaue-Mayoyao Road, Km 483-040, Km 483+080, Km 407 Saddle-Golongan
    Section, closed due to landslides;
  • Manila North Road in Sagayaden, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur;
  • Claveria-Calanasan Road, Mabanong Section;
  • Benguet Dalupirip Itogon and Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet Road;
  • Kennon Road

    Power failure

    GMANews.TV editor Jun Verzola reported from Baguio that as of 5am Tuesday morning, "Baguio still under total power outage, strong winds still batter the city, even as typhoon 'Juan' begins its exit."

    He also relayed an announcement by the local power company in Ifugao that the province was suffering from a 100 percent power outage.

    According to the NDRRMC, power failures have been experienced in the following areas:
    Ilocos Norte;
    Ilocos Sur;
    Isabela, and
    La Union.

    On the other hand, some 1,271 people were stranded in major ports as of 4 p.m., including 792 in Manila and 300 in Batangas.

    At least 274 passengers were also reported stranded at seaports in Batangas; Puerto Real, Quezon; and Santa Ana, Isabela.

    Impassable roads

    The agency said the roads rendered impassable included:

    • Manila North Road at Sagayaden village in Cabugao (Ilocos Sur), one lane passable;
    • Benguet-Dalupirip, Itogon and Nueva Vizcaya-Benguet Road, closed due to slides;
    • Claveria-Calanasan Road Mabanong Section in Apayao, closed to traffic;
    • Lenning-Cabugao Road in Apayao closed due to slides;
    • Calanan boundary Calaan Road Bannagao Section, Dalimono section in Mountain Province, one lane closed due to slides;
    Halsema Highway in the Cordillera region remained open, the NDRRMC said.

    A separate report by radio dzBB said Kennon Road was impassable but the Marcos Highway remained open as an alternate route.
    - with a report from Larissa Mae Suarez and Jerrie M. Abella/KBK/YA/HS/VVP, GMANews.TV
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