Philippines raises typhoon alert in rice areas

The Philippines raised alerts along coastal and low-lying areas of its main island of Luzon.

Philippines raises typhoon alert in rice areas

 

The Philippines raised alerts along coastal and low-lying areas of its main island of Luzon on Tuesday as Conson, the first sizeable typhoon of the season, moved closer to rice-producing areas of the poor Southeast Asian nation.

Conson, a category 1 typhoon with winds of 120 kph (75 mph), was about 90 km north of the central island of Catanduanes and moving at 22 kph westward towards Luzon's central lowlands, chief weather forecaster Prisco Nilo told a media conference.

"We expect strong winds and heavy rains, especially in areas Basyang will pass through," Nilo said, using the local name for the typhoon, saying it was expected to make landfall near Aurora and Quezon provinces late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Nilo said five areas in Conson's path had been put on storm alert 3, out of a scale of 5. Another 30 provinces, including the capital Manila, were placed on lower alert levels due to expected heavy rains and strong winds.

Some major rice-producing areas -- Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac, Pampanga and Isabela -- and wide areas of Luzon were put on either alert level 1 and 2, while the coconut-producing provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, northern Quezon, Polilio island and Aurora were on Alert 3.

Voltaire Gazmin, head of the defence and disaster agencies, said troops were on stand-by to evacuate families along coastal and low-lying areas in case of flooding, and in the event of landslides in mountain areas in Aurora and Quezon provinces.

Gazmin also ordered civilian agencies to stockpile food, water, medicine, fuel and other relief supplies.

The coastguard suspended operations of smaller ferries and fishing boats, stranding hundreds of people in the central Bicol region.

Last year, Typhoon Ketsana, known locally Ondoy, dumped record rain that submerged 80 percent of the capital region and nearby areas, killing 277 people, leaving tens of thousands homeless and causing more than $100 million of damage to crops, infrastructure and property.
 

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2010, 15:17
YORUM EKLE