20 fishermen missing, 2,000 stranded in Jolina’s onslaught

Twenty fishermen have been reported missing at sea while at least 2,000 people were stranded in various ports in Bicol region and in the Visayas due to Typhoon Jolina, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on Tuesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) also alerted disaster response and police personnel in areas affected by the typhoon.

The NDRRMC urged the public to be wary and take precautionary measures as the typhoon was forecasted to bring “heavy rainfall and destructive winds” to areas in Luzon and the Visayas.

As of 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Jolina was spotted over the coastal waters of Almagro, Samar, with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometer per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph, and was moving west, northwest.

PCG spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo said they are verifying reports that 12 fishermen have gone missing in Sierra, Western Samar, and another six fishermen in Motiong, Samar, and Catbalogan City, Northern Samar.

The PCG also reported that at least 1,441 persons along with three vessels and 515 rolling cargoes were stranded in at least six seaports in the Visayas as of 12 p.m. on Tuesday.

Eleven vessels and 36 motor bancas have also taken shelter due to the typhoon.

In the Bicol region, 505 people and 14 vessels and 167 rolling cargoes were stranded in 12 seaports while 20 vessels have taken shelter.

The NDRRMC reminded its personnel in regions and provinces affected or threatened by the typhoon to continue monitoring weather updates and implement preparedness measures.

The state weather bureau, meanwhile, warned heavy to intense, and at times, torrential rains in Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Sorsogon, Albay, Romblon and Masbate.

It also forecasted moderate to heavy rains over the southern portion of Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque and the rest of Bicol region and Visayas in the next 24 hours.

“Affected population are reminded to brace for destructive typhoon-force winds, flooding, possible landslides in highly susceptible areas due to continuous rainfall that will cause ground saturation, and rough seas over the seaboards of areas where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals are in effect,” the NDRRMC said.

PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar ordered commanders in Bicol, Eastern Visayas and other areas to be on alert and assist in the preparations of local officials against the effects of Jolina.

Eleazar also instructed regional offices to put on standby PNP assets and personnel for the conduct of evacuation, search and rescue and other preparations and response in connection with Jolina.

All power plants operational—DOE

The Department of Energy (DOE) said Tuesday that all power generation plants and transmission facilities in areas where Typhoon Jolina has made landfall are operational.

It said Tuesday that all power plants in the affected areas are under normal operation, except for the 34.5 megawatt (MW) Unified Leyte—Upper Mahiao geothermal power plant. The DOE said the power plant underwent emergency shutdown due to weather disturbance last September 6. The next day, the geothermal power plant went online.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) informed the DOE that the country’s grid system remains normal.

Luzon grid, it said, registered 12,079 MW of capacity and peak demand of 9,742 MW. In Visayas, power generation capacity stood at 2,623 MW. Peak demand in the region was registered at 2,016 MW.

However, there are five transmission lines that are unavailable in Eastern Samar and Samar. As such, Eastern Samar Electric Cooperatives and Samar Electric Cooperatives I and II were affected.

The NGCP said that the loss of power could be caused by affected transmission facilities or distribution facilities of local distribution utilities.

It said that inspection and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing as soon as the weather allows.

The National Power Corporation (NPC) also reported that there were no spilling incidents caused by the tropical storm in all NPC dams, except for Ambuklao, Binga and Pulangi 4 which are undergoing spilling operations.

Likewise, all plants in NPC-SPUG (Small Power Utilities Group) in Eastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas areas are in normal operations.

For oil supply, the DOE reported that the industry has enough inventory equivalent to 30.4 days of finished petroleum products to cover the country’s requirements.

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco), meanwhile, said its operations continue non-stop despite heavy rains brought by typhoon-enhanced habagat.

“As a 24–hour service company, we are committed to respond to these types of emergency. Our crews are on standby to attend to any trouble that may occur due to this adverse weather condition,” said Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga.

The DOE said it is continuously coordinating with industry stakeholders for monitoring and restoration of the damages that will be caused by the typhoon.

with Lenie Lectura

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