The Philippines has evacuated some 1,241 families from the Caraga region as tropical storm Dujuan, local name Auring, is expected to hit the landmass by Sunday, media reported on Saturday.
“We received news from the regional disaster council for Caraga that 1,241 families conducted preemptive evacuation and are now staying at 36 evacuation centres under the care of their respective local governments,” the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesman Mark Timbal was quoted as saying by the local newspaper Inquirer.
The country has been on high alert since Thursday, as the tropical storm started moving northwestward towards the shore at 15 kilometres per hour (9.3 miles per hour).
TS Dujuan’s maximum sustained wind speed near the center was recorded at 65 kilometers per hour (35 knots).
Local residents told the newspaper that several houses had collapsed under the weight of uprooted palm trees due to strong winds.
The NDRRMC and the government issued warnings to halt all fishing and mining operations until the storm passes over, the newspaper said.
The state weather bureau (PAGASA) announced on Friday that the cyclone grew into a tropical storm, expected strong winds and heavy rainfall during the weekend. The storm will reach the landmass on Sunday evening or early Monday morning
“Its center is forecast to make landfall over the Dinagat-Homonhon-Leyte area on Sunday evening or Monday early morning then cross Visayas and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan),” the newspaper quoted PAGASA as saying.
Last year, the country suffered from several massive typhoons. The deadly category 4-equivalent typhoon, Vamco, and category 5-equivalent super typhoon Goni struck the Philippines in fall 2020 and killed over 80 people. Typhoon Molave caused widespread damage in the country and killed 23 people.—AFP