Saturday, September 26, 2009

(UPDATE) 'Ondoy' lashes Central Luzon; 30 areas affected


MANILA - More than 30 areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila, were placed under storm alerts as tropical storm "Ondoy" accelerated further and moved closer to Central Luzon on Saturday morning.

Weather bureau PAGASA said Ondoy was cruising west northwest at 19 kilometers per hour, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kph and gustiness of up to 100 kph.

It was located 130 kilometers southeast of Baler town, Aurora province or 90 kilometers east northeast of Infanta, Quezon as of 5 a.m.

Public storm warning signal No. 2 was hoisted over La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, northern part of Quezon, Polillo Island, Camarines Norte and Rizal.

Signal No. 1 was raised over Isabela, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Sur, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Marinduque, Mindoro provinces, Lubang Island, southern part of Quezon, Camarines Sur, Albay, Burias Island, and Metro Manila.

PAGASA said the storm is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over the central and southern parts of Luzon, as well as the Visayas regions.

Nathaniel Cruz, PAGASA's chief weather forecaster, said they expect Ondoy to cross Luzon while on its way to South China Sea.

Cruz said Ondoy may make landfall in Aurora province on Saturday morning and touch Pangasinan at night time before heading back to the sea.

"Inaasahan ho nating dumaan ito sa Luzon sa buong maghapon," the weather forecaster told radio dzMM.

The weather bureau has also advised the Philippine Coast Guard to stop fishing boats and other small seacrafts from sailing in the affected areas.

The advisory has left more than 1,000 passengers stranded in southern Luzon and Bicol ports.

PAGASA has also alerted the National Disaster Coordinating Council for possible flashfloods and landslides in the affected areas, partcularly in Laguna, Quezon, Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan provinces.

Meanwhile, the Manila International Airport Authority said 13 flights of Zest Air SeaAir and PAL Express to Caticlan, Basco town in Batanes, San Jose town in Mindoro and Tablas in Romblon have been cancelled due to bad weather.

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