RESCUE. A rescue boat is on standby in front of the Ilocos Norte Capitol on Monday (May 29, 2023). Small craft in the coastal areas of Ilocos Norte are restricted to venture out to the sea due to Typhoon Betty. (Photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – Fishers in Ilocos Norte are advised from going out to sea as Typhoon Betty (Mawar) moves further north, affecting Northern Luzon provinces.

The province of Ilocos Norte is under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 along with mainland Cagayan, Isabela, northeast portion of Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, northern and central portions of Aurora, Polilo Islands, northern portion of Catanduanes, and northeastern portion of Camarines Norte.

Some coastal villages here have deployed “watchers" to refrain fisherfolk in venturing out to the sea for their safety.

“We reiterate to all our fishermen to stay home as both the Office of Civil Defense and PDRRMC (Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) have alerted us of rough to a very rough sea condition and a wave height ranging from 2.8 to 4.5 meters,” said Poblacion village Joegie Jimenez of Burgos town in Ilocos Norte on Monday while monitoring the track of the typhoon.

As of Monday morning, some parts of the province have been experiencing light to moderate rains, prompting some residents to trim branches of tall trees near their houses and clear some waterways.

“We urge our residents to stay vigilant and be prepared for possible landslides and flash floods in low-lying areas,” said Marcel Tabije, head of the PDRRMC.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education in Ilocos Norte earlier announced the automatic suspension of in-person classes from kindergarten to Grade 12 and Alternative Learning System as well as work in schools.

Schools are advised to shift to distance learning modalities until further notice. (PNA)