By Manny Mogato
DECEMBER 3, 2019 – Tens of thousands of residents in the six provinces of the Bicol region spent overnight in temporary shelter areas as Typhoon Tisoy pummeled the coconut-producing southern Luzon area.
As of 4 am on Tuesday, a slightly weakened Tisoy, known internationally as Kammuri, was in the vicinity if Burias island, packing sustained center winds of 155 kph with gusts up to 235 kph and moving westward at 20 kph.
Bagyong Tisoy, bahagyang humina
Nananatiling mapaminsala ang bagyong Tisoy kahit bahagyang nabawasan ang lakas nito sa magdamag.
Apektado ng bagyo ang malaking bahagi ng Luzon at halos buong Visayas. pic.twitter.com/6y5I1uSsxw
— News5 AKSYON (@News5AKSYON) December 3, 2019
Disaster and local government officials said Tisoy left the Bicol region with heavy damage on public infrastructure and houses made of light materials after it made landfall in Gubat, Sorsogon.
Tisoy’s violent winds knocked down power and communication lines, plunging wide areas into darkness. It also uprooted trees and tore down houses.
Cedric Daep, Albay disaster agency official, said the province’s main airport in Legazpi City was damaged.
“Luckily the guards on duty left so one got hurt when the airport terminals’s ceilings were ripped off,” he said.
He said tens of thousands of residents, who fled to evacuation centers, have started to return home as emergency workers backed by soldiers started clearing roads with debris.
In the capital Manila, classes and some offices were suspended as major land, sea and air travel were grounded.
Nearly 500 international and domestic flights in all four airport terminals were cancelled for 12 hours from 11 am on Tuesday.
Airport General Manager Eddie Monreal has advised air travels not to go to airport terminals as domestic carriers are expected to move their planes to safer areas.
The weather bureau warned of possible storm surge of 2-3 meters high in the eastern and western seaboards, including Manila Bay.
Public storm signals remained hoisted in wide areas in Luzon and Visayas as Tisoy is expected to pass through the southern part of Metro Manila, making landfall on Mindoro island.
Raymond Ordinario of the weather bureau said it was possible Metro Manila will experience intense winds of more than 100 kph at around 3 pm on Tuesday.
“At 3 pm, Tisoy will be at its closest to Manila,” he said, adding the weather bureau may raise public storm signal number 3.
Tisoy is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday.
Philippines Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee has suspended water sports in Subic and La Union due to Typhoon Tisoy.