‘Quinta’ pounds PH, displaces thousands

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Fast-moving Typhoon “Quinta” forced thousands of villagers to flee to safety as it roared across central Philippines on Sunday.

Swamped A fisherman ties his boat to a post at a wharf near the swollen Laguna de Bay in Muntinlupa City. Below, a woman attempts to save some of her possessions inside her flooded house in Albay. Photos by Mike Alquinto
and Rhayds Barcia

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the typhoon, whose international name is “Molave,” but authorities said at least 13 persons were missing and seven others were rescued after their yacht sank off Batangas province.

The typhoon packed sustained winds of 125 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 180 kph and was blowing westward at 25 kph.

It was expected to blow out of the country and into the South China Sea on Monday, government forecasters said.

At least 25,000 people were displaced with about 20,000 taking shelter in schools and government buildings which were turned into evacuation centers, according to the Office of Civil Defense.

“Villagers are now asking to be rescued because of the sudden wind which blew away roofs,” Humerlito Dolor, governor of Oriental Mindoro province, told DZMM radio.

Dolor said pounding rains overnight swamped farming villages then fierce winds toppled trees and power posts early on Monday, knocking off power. Authorities were clearing roads of fallen trees and debris in some towns after the typhoon passed, he said.

More than 1,800 cargo truck drivers, workers and passengers were stranded in ports after the coast guard barred ships and ferry boats from venturing into rough seas.

Twelve persons were reported missing in Catanduanes and one in Batangas, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Monday.

NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal said the missing in Catanduanes were all fishermen.
In Batangas, the MV Oceanic Explorer 3, sank at 7 a.m. on Monday off Bauan town, also because of the typhoon.

The Philippine Coast Guard substation in Bauan rescued seven crew members of the ship and a search was ongoing for the eighth crewman, Timbal added, citing a report from the regional disaster council of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).

Water everywhere Residents wade through a flooded street in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, one of the provinces hit hard by typhoon Quinta. Meanwhile, a dog waits to be rescued in another flooded neighborhood. Photos by Nikki delos Reyes and AFP 

The NDRRMC also reported thousands of evacuees from the regions of Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

A total of 2,475 families or 9,235 persons have evacuated.

Timbal said 1,503 families (5,704 persons) were staying in evacuation centers.

As of Monday afternoon, local officials reported landslides and damage from Quinta.

Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero said there was no agricultural damage in the province since most of the crops were harvested before the typhoon hit.

He added that not a single casualty was recorded and the estimated 4,000 families that evacuated have started to return to their homes.

Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez said the typhoon blew down a number of electrical posts, triggering a power outage in parts of the province.

One drowning was reported in the town of San Antonio, but Suarez said the incident happened ahead of Quinta.

The NDRRMC recorded 11 flooding incidents in the provinces of Laguna, Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Samar and Apayao, and seven landslides in Laguna, Aklan, Samar and Apayao.

Six electric cooperatives, four of them in Bicol, reported power interruptions, based on monitoring by the National Electrification Administration-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said many transmission lines in Luzon were down.

The Philippine Coast Guard Command Center released the names of the rescued crew members of Oceanic Explorer 3.

They are Tomas de Rosario, Jaime Mete Jr., Jonhpaul Servando, Juliet Mayang, Andres Lazalita, Jove Muchillas and Archei Gallardo.

The missing crewman was identified as Rodolfo Sarabia.

The Coast Guard also reported 605 passengers, truck drivers, and cargo helpers stranded in Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Western Visayas, and Palawan due to Quinta.

As Quinta moved out of the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), another low pressure area (LPA) is being closely monitored by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

The LPA was tracked 1,945 km east of Southern Luzon.

While it is likely to enter PAR on Wednesday or Thursday morning, it is not expected to develop into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours, Pagasa said.

Pagasa said the tail-end of a weather front will bring moderate to heavy rains in Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.

Quinta and the approaching LPA will also bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains in Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro and the rest of Luzon.

WITH JORDEENE B. LAGARE, NIKKI DELOS REYES, ARLIE O. CALALO AND THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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