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4 Bicol provinces without power as Masbate braces for Ruby’s second landfall

Filipino residents use plastic sheets to protect them from rains and strong winds brought by Typhoon Hagupit in Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014.

bicol provinces

Typhoon Hagupit slammed into the central Philippines’ east coast late Saturday, knocking out power and toppling trees in a region where 650,000 people have fled to safety, still haunted by the massive death and destruction wrought by a monster storm last year. AP/Aaron Favila

Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes and Masbate experienced province-wide blackouts since power supply was temporarily cut off from noon Saturday, and even from morning in areas along the slopes of Mayon Volcano in Albay, after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned of strong winds and heavy rains that  might give rise to storm surges, floods and lahar flow when the typhoon hits Bicol.

The typhoon made its first landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar at 9:15 p.m. Saturday and projected to made its second landfall in Masbate by this afternoon.

Police Officer 3 Zandro Cabintoy, spokesman of the Masbate Provincial Police Office, said power was also cut off in Masbate since Saturday in anticipation of storm surges that the weather bureau warned might hit the coastal towns as Ruby comes closer for a landfall Sunday.

Lieutenant Clint Antipala, spokesman of Philippine Army’s 903rd Infantry Brigade based in Castilla, Sorsogon, said the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) temporarily cut off supply to the Sorsogon Electric Cooperative (Soreco) Saturday evening in order to avoid damage to powerlines and posts in the province as winds pick up during the night.

Lieutenant Gilbert Dumugho, operations officer of 83rd Infantry Battalion, said they also lost power in Catanduanes since Saturday but electricity supply already started fluctuating by Friday.

The number of evacuees also increased in the island-provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate through Saturday night as disaster response units rushed to complete evacuations.

Dumugho said they were able to evacuate 1,833 families, corresponding to 8,324 individuals, from coastal and low-lying barangays in Catanduanes as of Saturday midnight.

Cabintoy said combined forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Army were able to complete evacuations of all 24,269 families from coastal areas identified in danger of storm surge by Pagasa’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH).

One bridge in the village of Pinamarbuhan, Mobo, Masbate was declared not passable due to flood brought about by rain which has been pouring since Saturday morning, Cabintoy said.

Meanwhile, power was restored in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur Sunday morning after an emergency power outtage was also implemented Saturday night.

No untoward incident, casualties or other damages were reported by authorities as of the moment.



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