by Ellalyn B. De Vera
Rains will mark the start of the new year in some parts of the country throughout the week, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
The trough or extension of a low pressure area (LPA) is currently affecting the eastern section of Mindanao, while the northeast monsoon or amihan is affecting Northern Luzon.
Today, PAGASA said cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms will be experienced over Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Davao Occidental.
Cloudy skies with light rains is also expected over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
EFFECTS OF ‘AMIHAN’
By Monday and Tuesday, PAGASA said the LPA is expected to move closer towards the southeastern part of Mindanao, while cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and isolated thunderstorms will be experienced over Central and Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and Davao Region.
The Bicol Region and Quezon province will continue to be cloudy with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms.
Cagayan Valley and Aurora province will be cloudy with light rains while the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
By Wednesday, PAGASA said the LPA is expected to cross the Visayas-Northern Mindanao area.
Cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms will be experienced over Bicol Region, Region 4B (Mimaropa), Visayas and Mindanao.
The rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains.
By Thursday and Friday, the amihan will temporary weaken and the LPA is expected to move west away from the country and towards the West Philippine Sea.
However, PAGASA said another LPA is expected to develop east of Mindanao that will bring cloudy skies and light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms over Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Davao Region.
The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
So far, PAGASA does not expect the entry or formation of a tropical cyclone throughout the week.
BICOL ROADS, BRIDGES
Meanwhile, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said 43 road sections and bridges in the Bicol region which were closed to motorists by typhoon Nina’s debris are now passable to all types of vehicles. Villar said this was made possible by the round-the-clock clearing operations on the affected areas since Christmas Day.
Personnel and equipment were prepositioned in the areas along the path of the typhoon as early as December 21. Field inspectors were likewise deployed to landslide-prone areas to supervise the ground work and make the roads accessible after the storm.
Dump trucks, pay loaders, graders and other road-clearing equipment and personnel were deployed to clear the more than one meter silt and debris at the Bantayan Bridge 1 along the Ligao-Tabaco Road and fallen trees and slides at the Legazpi-Sto. Domingo-Tabaco-Tiwi-Camarines Sur Road in Albay province. These two roads are now passable.
‘Nina’ has caused P216 million worth of damage on roads, bridges, and 13 flood control structures.
Because typhoon Nina either destroyed their homes or endangered their lives, 46,798 families (229,901 persons) spent the New Year in 280 evacuation centers in the affected regions. But Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo expressed relief that the number of evacuation centers have decreased from the 500 evacuation centers that were opened at the height of the typhoon. This indicates that families are already returning to their former homes.
“We are doing our best so that families can already return to their homes to also welcome the New Year. I commend our disaster teams who continue to work even during the holidays. DSWD will continue to assist affected families until they are able to return to their normal lives,” Taguiwalo said. About P153 million worth of relief assistance have been provided to evacuees.
The DSWD chief joined disaster teams Friday to distribute family food packs in Marinduque and nearby towns.
The Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday assured that classes in schools affected by typhoon Nina will resume on January 3, 2017.
“The Regional Directors were asked to issue memo advising all to ensure resumption of classes on January 3 even in covered courts and other temporary learning spaces,” DepEd Undersecretary for Planning Service and Field Operations Jesus Mateo told the Manila Bulletin. DepEd officials also requested local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders for assistance in clearing and cleaning schools of mud and storm debris.
Latest data from DepEd showed that at least five schools were “heavily damaged” while about 118 schools in the regions of Bicol, Mimaropa and Calabarzon are being used as evacuation centers for the 4,050 families affected by typhoon Nina.
When the skies cleared, Education Secretary Leonor Briones along with President Duterte and his Cabinet inspected the schools heavily affected by the typhoon. They visited Catanduanes and Camarines Sur which were the two provinces in the Bicol Region that were badly hit by the typhoon. (With reports from Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos and Merlina Hernando-Malipot)