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Without land, sea access, northern Aurora isolated after Labuyo landfall

August 12, 2013 9:12am
Typhoon Labuyo packs 140 to 170 kph winds, Signal No. 3 raised
Typhoon Labuyo packs 140 to 170 kph winds, Signal No. 3 raised. PAGASA raised Public Storm Warning Signal No. 3 over Catanduanes as Typhoon Labuyo moved closer to Luzon Sunday morning and is expected to make landfall in Aurora on Monday. PAGASA
(Updated 10:48 a.m.) – After making landfall in Aurora before dawn Monday, Typhoon Labuyo (Utor) isolated the province's northern part by causing landslides that blocked the single road to Casiguran town.

The storm also knocked out communications and power supply in the area, preventing authorities from finding out the extent of the damage.

With both land and sea access blocked, there is no way to reach Casiguran and two neighboring towns, according to Aurora Governor Gerardo Noveras. The sea is currently too rough to deliver supplies or evacuate residents.
 
“Sa Casiguran po sa ngayon wala kaming malinaw na information kasi naputol lahat ng communication lines namin. Pero base sa mga initial na report bago maputol 'yung communications, talagang tinamaan nang husto 'yung tatlong bayan namin sa northern part ng Aurora,” Noveras said in a telephone interview GMA's News to Go on Monday morning.
 
Strong winds brought by Labuyo blew away roofs of houses and other structures including that of a local police station, radio dzBB's correspondent Ronald Leander reported. “'Yung isang covered court sa bayan ng Dinalungan, tinangay yung bubong,” Noveras said.
 
Mobile phone networks bogged down as of 8 a.m. in northern Aurora, while the entire province was without power, the dzBB report added.


View Aurora towns isolated due to Typhoon Labuyo in a larger map

According to Noveras, families from Casiguran, Dinalungan, and Dilasag had already been evacuated. The three towns lost electricity Sunday night, while central Aurora lost electricity at around 2 a.m. on Monday, he said.
 
“Kaninang madaling araw bandang alas dos wala na po kaming communication sa tatlong bayan na 'yun,” Noveras said. Although the rains had subsided as of the News to Go report, Noveras said the typhoon had already caused much damage.
 
“Maraming bumagsak na mga puno sa mga kalsada at mabuti naman po at nagkusa 'yung mga tao na sila na mismo ang magtanggal ng mga sanga ng puno para makadaan ang mga sasakyan,” Noveras said.
 
He also said Casiguran, a low-lying area, is prone to flooding.
 
However, the only road to Casiguran remains impassable as the Department of Public Works and Highways has yet to assess how long repairs will take.

“Sa ngayon po ay di makadaan ang mga sasakyan papunta sa Casiguran, Aurora. 'Di pa po namin alam kung ano ang assessment ng DPWH kung gaano katagal gagawin ang mga kalsadang nasira,” Noveras said, adding that when the road is impassable, the only other way to reach the town is by sea.
 
“Isa lang po ang daan papuntang Casiguran... wala kaming ibang means kung 'di sa dagat kami magdadala ng mga relief goods,” said Noveras.

However, he said the waves were too dangerous. “Sa dagat hindi pa posible ngayon kasi kailangan tiyakin namin na magiging safe ang paglalayag papunta roon,” he said.
 
Noveras said there had been no reports so far of casualties caused by the the typhoon.

“Sa ngayon po wala kaming natatanggap pang reports na mayroon kaming casualty sa bagyo. Iba pong report ay kasalukuyan pa pong nagkakalap ang aming disaster officer at gawa nga po ng mahirap ang komunikasyon ay hindi po namin agad makuha yung mga data,” he said.
 
The province was briefly cut off from nearby Nueva Ecija after a landslide occurred at a road in Pantabangan town in Nueva Ecija, though the road was passable as of 8 a.m.
 
Disaster management officials could not immediately get further information about the extent of the damage to Aurora due to the failure of communications there.
 
The only method of communication as of Monday morning was via two-way radio, the report said. —With a report from Carmela G. Lapeña/KG/HS, GMA News


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