PHL on high alert as typhoon Auring seen to make landfall Sunday

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, led by Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana (in cap), holds a hybrid in-person and virtual meeting on Feb. 19 to discuss preparations for storm Auring as local emergency teams are put on high alert for possible preemptive evacuations and rescue operations.
— OFFICE OF CIVIL DEFENSE

EMERGENCY teams in areas along tropical storm Auring’s path have been placed on high alert for possible preemptive evacuation and rescue operations as heavy rains and wind are likely to cause flooding and landslides over the weekend, the Office of Civil Defense said on Friday.

In the small coastal town of Bayabas in Surigao del Sur, an initial 18 families have already been evacuated, according to the local disaster management office.

The Philippine Coast Guard said its units in southern Luzon, the Visayas, and the northern and eastern parts of Mindanao “have been placed on heightened alert to ensure completeness and preparedness of deployable response groups and quick response teams.”

Weather bureau PAGASA, in its Friday morning advisory, said rough to high seas will be experienced in the next 24 hours over the seaboards of eastern Mindanao, central and northern Luzon, and the Visayas. “Sea travel is risky for all types of sea vessels over these waters,” PAGASA said.

Storm Auring, the first typhoon to enter the Philippines this year, was still expected to make landfall in the eastern coast of Caraga Region in Mindanao on Sunday despite weakening into a tropical storm from a severe tropical storm category as of Friday afternoon.

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As of Friday 5 p.m., tropical cyclone wind signal #1 was raised over the following areas: Southern Leyte; southeastern portion of Eastern Samar (Guiuan including Homonhon Island); the Caraga provinces of Dinagat Island Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Agusan del Sur; most parts of Davao Region; and parts of Northern Mindanao.

The storm’s center as of 4 p.m. was 405 kilometers east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

It was moving westward at 15 kilometer per hour (km/h) with maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 105 km/h.

Affected areas on Saturday are: Caraga, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte, Eastern and Central Visayas, the rest of Northern Mindanao, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato, and Davao City.

By Sunday, Auring is expected to bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, Visayas, Caraga, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon.

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