Typhoon Gorio made landfall in Eastern Samar Friday morning, bringing with it heavy rains that flooded several areas and caused landslides in Biliran and Leyte provinces as it moved toward western Luzon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration said the typhoon has been dumping 97.8 mm rainfall since Saturday morning and maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometer per hour near the center and gustiness of up to eight kph.
In Tacloban city, two big festival street parades to honor the Sr. Santo Nino’s feast day were cancelled due to the bad weather.
The annual Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival street parade of Leyte province was cancelled, while the Tacloban city-backed Sangyaw Festival Parade of Lights was rescheduled for Sunday evening, June 30.
Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez convened the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) to discuss rescue operations after heavy rain flooded some areas of the city.
It said that based on its latest weather update, Gorio’s center was spotted at 60 kilometers north northwest of Catbalogan, Samar after it made landfall at around 8 a.m. in Hernani town in Samar.
The flooding had rendered some major roads impassable, even as the continuing heavy rain left at least 6,000 commuters stranded in various ports in Mindanao, Visayas and the Bicol Region, particularly in Matnog, Sorsogon port and in Quezon province.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council reported that 102 trucks, 52 light vehicles, 53 buses and five RORO (roll-in, roll-out) ships were stuck on roads, terminals and ports.
It said that the number of stranded passengers in various ports in Bicol and Visayas and Mindanao rose to 6,572.
Albay had 469 stranded passengers; Sorsogon, 1,701; Catanduanes, 32; Masbate, 66; Camarines Sur, 77; Cebu, 1,625; Maasin, 337; Catbalogan, 1718; Surigao, 228 and Butuan, 319.
At least 49 passenger ships and 319 buses were also barred from travelling until the storm has passed.
The NDRRMC added that some flights were also cancelled. These are the 2P-925 Manila-Legaspi, 2P-926 Legaspi-Manila, 5J-329 Manila-Legaspi, 5J-330 Legaspi-Manila.
The NDRRMC also reported that landslides had struck portions of a road in Barangay San Pablo, Naval, Biliran while heavy flooding was reported at Barangay Capokpok, Tabango, Leyte.
Tripped wires also resulted to temporary electricity outage in some parts of Northern and Eastern Samar.
In Albay, Governor Joey Salceda has immediately ordered the evacuation of some 60,000 families living in flood-prone areas as Gorio is expected to hit the province at around 10 p.m. tonight.
PAGASA, meanwhile, said that the areas that had been placed under Storm Signal No. 2 include Masbate, Ticao Island, Burias Island, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Marinduque, Quezon, Polilio Island, Samar provinces, Biliran, and Leyte. Placed under Storm Signal No. 1 are Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan, Zambales, Tarlac, La Union, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Metro Manila, Southern Leyte, Capiz, Aklan, Northeastern Iloilo, Northern Cebu, Camotes Island and Bantayan Island.
NDRRMC Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario said the agency had already issued blue alert to all concerned agencies in all the affected areas, including the Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, which were advised to be on standby for immediate disaster response missions. With Florante Solmerin, Rio N. Araja and Ronald O. Reyes