MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Bising brought heavy rain, gusty winds and rough seas over the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas as it churned through the Philippine Sea yesterday.
As of 5 p.m., Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 remained hoisted over Catanduanes and the Samar provinces, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
PAGASA said Signal No. 1 was raised over the eastern portions of Albay; Biliran; Camarines Norte; Camarines Sur; Leyte and Southern Leyte; Masbate, including Burias and Ticao Islands, and Sorsogon, and over the northern portions of Bucas Grande Islands; Cebu, including Bantayan and Camotes islands; Dinagat and Siargao.
The typhoon’s maximum sustained winds slightly weakened from 215 kilometers per hour earlier in the day to 205 kph in the afternoon.
It also slowed down and changed track from northwest at 20 kph to west northwest at 15 kph.
It was expected to bring moderate to heavy to at times intense rain over Eastern Visayas and Bicol yesterday.
PAGASA said moderate to heavy to at times intense rain would prevail over the Bicol region and Northern Samar today.
The eastern sections of Central and Northern Luzon can also experience rain from Bising, according to PAGASA senior weather specialist Chris Perez.
In the next 24 hours, the typhoon will bring “very rough to very high seas” of up to 12 meters over the northern and eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas, the weather bureau said.
Rough to very high seas will also affect the eastern seaboards of Luzon and Caraga as well as the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon.
As of 4 p.m., the eye of Bising was located 290 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, packing winds of 205 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 250 kph.
It was forecast to move west northwest at 15 kph.
PAGASA said Bising was forecast to move slowly northwest over the Philippine Sea, east of Bicol region yesterday until this morning.
It will move generally northward until tomorrow afternoon before turning north northwest while over the Philippine Sea, east of Cagayan Valley.
By Wednesday morning, the typhoon is forecast to turn northeast or east northeast, away from the landmass of Luzon, PAGASA said.
“Considering the uncertainty in the track forecast of the typhoon, a westward shift in the current forecast track may result in potentially significant impacts over the eastern portions of Southern Luzon and the Visayas. The possibility of a close approach scenario is not ruled out,” it said.
As this developed, Malacañang urged the public to be vigilant and monitor the typhoon.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque appealed to Filipinos to cooperate with authorities and observe minimum public health standards.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) assessed the situation and advised local government units and disaster teams to prepare for Bising.
“Pre-emptive evacuation has been carried out in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, and Northern and Eastern Samar, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council,” Roque said.
Despite Bising’s slim chance of making landfall in Bicol, the provincial government of Albay ordered residents in areas prone to lahar flow, flood and storm surges evacuated.
The move was intended to ensure the safety of the residents, Cedric Daep, chief of Albay’s public safety and emergency management office, said.
At least 317 families composed of 1,492 people were evacuated in Camarines Sur, and 14 families or 96 people were evacuated in Sorsogon, according to Gremil Alexis Naz, spokesman for the OCD-Bicol.
At least 840 people were stranded at the ports of Matnog and Pilar, both in Sorsogon, while 49 people were stranded along the Maharlika Highway in Putiao and Pilar. – Alexis Romero, Cet Dematera, Rudy Santos, Evelyn Macairan