2K persons affected by Aghon so far – NDRRMC

By Priam Nepomuceno

May 26, 2024, 9:14 am Updated on May 26, 2024, 12:12 pm

MANILA – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Sunday said around 513 families or 2,734 persons had been affected so far by Tropical Storm Aghon.

In its 8 a.m. update, the agency said affected individuals are residing in 18 barangays in Regions 5 (Bicol) and 8 (Eastern Visayas).

Of this number, 34 families or 523 persons are being served in eight evacuation centers while the rest are being aided outside.

The Office of Civil Defense earlier said affected families include those displaced and those not needing transfer or removal from their residence.

There is no confirmed casualty related to "Aghon" although four injuries in Region 5 are still undergoing confirmation as of this posting.

The NDRRMC also reported that some 5,969 passengers along with 40 vessels, 10 motor bancas, and 987 rolling cargoes, were stranded in the ports of Regions 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa), Bicol, 7 (Central Visayas), and Eastern Visayas due to inclement weather conditions.

There were also a total of 21 houses damaged in Eastern Visayas, with 17 partially and four totally.

DHSUD on alert

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has also put on standby its shelter clusters nationwide.

By authority of DHSUD Secretary Jose Rizalino Acuzar, Undersecretary for Disaster Response Randy Escolango issued a memorandum on Saturday, placing the Department’s Regional Offices 1 to 8, 11, 13, Cordillera Administrative Region and National Capital Region on standby effective immediately.

The DHSUD regional offices were instructed to closely monitor their respective areas of jurisdiction and facilitate emergency response and humanitarian assistance as needed.

The regional directors, meanwhile, are enjoined to coordinate with the respective shelter cluster members within their regions and convene using all available means.

“In times like this, it is better to anticipate the risks early on to make sure that we can cover the shelter needs of our kababayans who will be affected. Secretary Acuzar assures that DHSUD is ready to help,” Escolango said in a news release on Sunday.

The DHSUD has an ongoing partnership with the International Organization for Migration which provides shelter-grade tarpaulins thru DHSUD for deployment to affected residents in local government units.

To ensure real-time reporting and corresponding actions, the regional directors are directed to submit daily situational report not later than noon. 

‘Aghon’ downs 2 NGCP lines

Meanwhile, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) reported Sunday that Tropical Storm Aghon downed its two transmission lines in Quezon province.
NGCP said the transmission network was unavailable as of 9 a.m. Sunday.

The Pitogo-Mulanay 69kV line went offline at 2:24 a.m. followed by the Gumaca-Atimonan 69kV line at 3:51 a.m.

Customers of Quezon Electric Cooperative Inc. might be affected, NGCP said.

“Please note that this update pertains only to the status of the transmission network. Localized disturbances may be better addressed
by your distribution utility. This also does not include lines exclusively serving directly connected industrial customers,” NGCP explained.

NGCP has mobilized its line crew to conduct inspections and assess the impact of the storm. 

In a separate statement, the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) said it remains on alert for the possible impact of Aghon.

Customers are urged to report power outages and other concerns in Meralco franchise areas through its official social media accounts, by texting 0920-9716211 and 0917-5516211, or by calling hotline 16211 and 8631-1111.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Aghon has maintained its strength and is now over Dolores town, Quezon province.

It has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 110 kph while moving northwestward at 15 kph.

Within the next 24 hours, PAGASA said there is a minimal to moderate risk of storm surge over the exposed and low-lying coastal areas of Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila,

It added that Aghon reaching typhoon category within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) is not yet ruled out, “although it will most likely happen far from the landmass.”

On the track forecast, Aghon may exit the PAR on Wednesday. (With reports from Kris Crismundo/PNA)